Thursday, 9 April 2020

SUPERMARKETS NOW CHARGING IN FOREX


SUPERMARKETS, food outlets and fresh produce dealers have started selling their goods in forex in line with Government’s directive to use free funds for domestic transactions.

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor, Dr John Mangudya, recently announced that individuals and businesses can now trade freely in forex and the fixing of the exchange rate at US$1:ZW$25.

According to Dr Mangudya, the latest measures are meant to assist the country in dealing with the financial vulnerabilities caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a snap survey by Business Chronicle around the Central Business District (CBD) retailers like TM Pick n Pay and OK had started trading in forex and were only accepting USD using the interbank rate.

Choppies Supermarkets around town were not accepting any forex with staff at the supermarket saying they had not been given the greenlight by their employers.

“We are still yet to get communication from our bosses on when we can start selling in forex and until we receive such communication we will be selling only in Zimbabwean dollars,” said a worker who requested anonymity.

Forex trading was alive at Greens Supermarket and since Monday the USD had been pegged at $35, Rand at $1.90 and Pula at $2.80. 

Coming on the back of illegal forex trading since adoption of Zim-dollar last year in June, the business community, both formal and informal, is also keenly interested in terms of implications of the move on their operations.

This news crew observed that selected fruit and vegetable suppliers at the Bulawayo market place, which had been closed when the lockdown came into effect last week on Monday but reopened on Tuesday following a directive by President Mnangagwa, were also accepting foreign currency.

As the interbank rate is being used, vendors have complained that the move affects them as they have no access to forex.

“Where do they expect us to get the foreign currency when our customers are buying using the local currency.

“In the communities where we sell our produce people will think we are robbing them if we sell on forex. So, these suppliers should stop the selling of foreign currency,” said a vendor from Nkulumane 5 Mrs Simangaliso Mkomo.

In Cowdry Park, foreign currency trades are taking place at ™? Pick and Pay and surrounding shops. Food outlets and shebeens have also joined the trend.
Even products such as opaque beer are now being sold in forex. The news crew observed that a 1,25litre of Chibuku Super is now going for US$1 at one of the popular shebeens in the high density suburbs. Chronicle

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