We have your backs: RBZ chief

Lincoln Towindo and Livingstone Marufu
THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has increased foreign currency allocation for basic and essential commodities to curtail threats of shortages.

Central bank governor Dr John Mangudya said the injection of additional foreign currency comes on the back of marginal increases in prices of goods and commodities in most shops in Harare, where fears of shortages reminiscent of 2007 have swelled.

This has triggered panic buying and illegal monetary transactions.

However, Dr Mangudya dismissed suggestions that most basic commodities are beginning to disappear from shop shelves.

He said the central bank is allocating an additional US$30 million a week for basic and essential commodities importation with an additional US$15 million being spent on fuel and electricity imports.

He said the availability of foreign exchange has remained stable due to growing imports.

Furthermore, the RBZ will this week introduce a US$600 million Nostro Stabilisation Facility from Cairo-headquartered African Export Import Bank (Afreximbank) to start addressing the foreign currency shortage on the market.

This nostro stabilisation facility is meant to deal with ongoing delays in the processing of foreign payments by banks for the procurement of productive imports as part of a raft of measures to stabilise the economy.

The facility will cover the foreign currency gap that widened after closure of the 2017 tobacco marketing season.

RBZ expected foreign exchange receipts from platinum and chrome to be treated in the same manner as gold, diamonds, tobacco and cotton to ensure that the nostro stabilisation facility is supported by a continuous stream of export receipts.

Another export incentive scheme worth $300 million is expected to help the situation.

Last week, the RBZ chief was expected to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with top Afreximbank officials who were in the country on official business.

Responding to questions from The Sunday Mail, Dr Mangudya said: “We are making supplementary allocations of US$30 million on a weekly basis for basic and essential imports.

“Specifically, fuel is getting US$10 million per week, US$4 million per week for cooking oil raw materials, US$5 million towards electricity and around US$2 million for pharmaceuticals.

“Nothing material has changed in the availability of foreign currency. To the contrary, exports have gone up.”

Motorists queue to refuel along Samora Machel Avenue in Harare’s Eastlea suburb yesterday with some filling up drums and containers for stocking. Fake social media messages have been spreading falsehoods of an impending shortage of fuel and basic commodities. - Picture: Believe Nyakudjara
Motorists queue to refuel along Samora Machel Avenue in Harare’s Eastlea suburb yesterday with some filling up drums and containers for stocking. Fake social media messages have been spreading falsehoods of an impending shortage of fuel and basic commodities. – Picture: Believe Nyakudjara

In a statement earlier, the RBZ also contested social media reports insinuating that Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa had ordered the printing of more bond notes in order to chase the US dollar in illegal transactions on the streets.

“The intention of social media (abusers) is to confuse the market through instilling fear in people.

“Zimbabweans should refuse to be hoodwinked by fake social media statements designed to increase premiums on the parallel markets by misguided rent seekers.”

Dr Mangudya assured the nation that: “There are no shortages of basic commodities.

“On the contrary, foreign exchange currently being allocated for basic and essential commodities has been increased to ensure that shortages of commodities do not occur within the economy.

“In addition, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development did not print bond notes to buy US dollars from the streets.

“Such malicious statements are counter-productive and are meant to sabotage the economy that is on the rebound on account of the good agricultural outturn, strong performance of the mining sector and the recovery of the manufacturing sector.”

On the nostro stabilisation facility, Dr Mangudya said: “The board of directors of Afreximbank had its board meetings in Harare from 21 to 23 September 2017. We expect to sign the MoU on the disbursement of the US$600 million nostro stabilisation facility today (yesterday).

“Government is also handing over a property that has been donated to Afreximbank.”

There has been a noticeable increase in the prices of some commodities over the last few weeks in many retail shops with players in the sector attributing the surge to foreign currency shortages.

During the past few months, the greenback has been scarce on formal financial avenues, but accessible on the informal market where it is being sold for a premium.

This has resulted in illegal currency dealers asking for at least $135 in bond notes for one to access US$100.

Electronic money transfers for the highest United States denomination are being pegged at about $150.

Suggestions are that the cost of importing some goods or raw materials has increased due to foreign currency shortages, subsequently pushing the costs of production and prices up.

 

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  • owen

    nxa

  • PAPA JOSE

    Dr Mangundja Good advice act now. Remove bond note from the market as it is fueling speculation. This burning issue is just starting and when you phase out bond we shall legally demand USD as the bond is pegged 1;1 with USD. Those with access to USD will burn it and have hefty accounts how are you going to deal with that. Zimbabweans are to clever and scepitcal so they do things the other way given any chance. The 2007/8 issue is still in our minds our salaries just remained in those Zimdollar acc and few bothered to claim them as at most two months salary became equivalent to less than 10 usd as you converted it using the Old mutual rate. Now Old mutual share at Zim stock exchange goes for over 7usd whilst internationally its at 3usd. This shows we are going back to 2008. Is the Zim USD different from actual American dollar? Answer this question. Hope my advice will open all Zimbabwean managers of this economy including my honourable sleeping MPS who are not arguing our fate as they represent us.

  • Matiza

    hanzi “marginal price increases”….these fools😔

  • Kusvikazvanaka

    Varume ava vanonyepa zvinotyisa. RBZ governor should just resign. Unoramba zviripachena. Fuel yakapera muHarare, maroads akafa, Zisco yakafa, NRZ yakafa, chimwe chii kunze kweGushungo ICE creams?

  • Blue

    We are still waiting for the resignation letter Mr Governor – Remember you promised us that letter in the event of bond note failure. Be a gentleman – keep your promise

  • Trex1

    Trying to rig the economy…

  • chimusoro

    why did yo introduce the bod notes.Bvisai ma toilet papers ayo mu street.Makada kuisa ma bond kuti hama dzenyu dzitange kutengesa mari mu street.Better titambure tine ma US dollars chete munyika kwete zvema bond.Hakuna kwatinosvika nema bod iwaya.Ngaabviswe as soon as possible.Pokutanga Mangudya wainyepa uchiti ma incentives for the exporters but chitarira uone nyika kwayava kuenda back to 2008 woti urikugona chii ipapo.Kana zvakunetsa siya basa woteverwa nevamwe varikutadza futi

  • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

    We must be resilient and fight on, for our survival. Yes we will survive the turbulent waters.

    • kuzvifadzanenhema

      ha ne bond hamuhwine . garai pasi

  • eliah

    i do not know why other Zimbos relish in the suffering of the mass nxaaa ,lets shame them Governor

  • Reuben Mukondiwa

    Apa maiti hanzi public musnt be in panic mode yet you are now in panic mode imimi.Musatijairire hatizi vana venyu.Nxaaaaaa dhemeti.

  • Kitsiyatotata

    This is Gono 2.0. or Gono lite. We already know this script and how it’s going to end. First its denial,denial and denial,then when we find ourselves in deep water, the tune will change to sanctions.

  • musayigwa

    The moment an RBZ Governor starts talking about shortages in shops like cooking oil, then we all know how this will end.

  • JAMES GUNIKE

    “……to SA and speak with PRETORIA kuti tishandise their Rands….” Look, nearly 10 years a go, we adopted the the world’s most powerful currency, the so-called the US dollar but hezvo nhasi tiripi. Even if you adopt a currency from Mars, Saturn, Uranus , or some neighbouring solar system, it will all end up at zero. What you are suggesting is like a newly wed groom alternatively inviting all sorts of other men to come and attempt to impregnant his wife while he is in no effort to do the right thing. What is lacking in all of us Zimbabweans – both the rulers and the ruled,is applying the simple God-given freely available commodity called COMMON SENSE. The solution in our our beloved and beautiful well resourced Zimbabwe simply lies in optimum production. Rather than alternatively try other men on this beautiful “wife” one must practically do that which those men do. There is massive productivity across the Limpopo which we must adopt than adopt their currency for indeed a currency derives its power from value output.

  • P.b

    Everything has been criminalised in this country my friend. Trust me if it were possible some of the people commenting here would be in jail.