SI 127 2021 Unpacked: Zimbabweans Reaction

The SI stipulates that companies or businesses applying for foreign currency at the auction must specify what they intend to use the money for. If it is found out that they are using the money for purposes other than initially indicated, they will be guilty of an offence.

There will be a fixed fine or penalty of ZWL$1 million. In some cases, it might be the equivalent value of the foreign currency they would have misused. Whichever is higher between the two is what they will pay as a fine.

The SI actually reads as:“One will be guilty, if he or she without Exchange Control authority, uses the foreign currency obtained directly or indirectly from a foreign exchange auction or an authorised dealer for a purpose other than that specified in the application to partake in the auction or the application for foreign currency.

It is considered a crime to insist only on foreign currency payments and refuse local currency payments. Furthermore, the local currency payments are expected to be the equivalent of the foreign currency amount using the official exchange rate (not the parallel market exchange rate).

Selling stuff using an exchange rate above the official rate (something virtually all businesses are guilty of) now attracts a fine.Deliberately putting a premium or hefty mark-ups on local currency prices to encourage customers to pay using US dollars is considered illegal.

It is also illegal to discount customers for paying in US dollars. Let us suppose someone pays using foreign currency and you receipt them in ZWL$, that is a crime.Any business found contravening these regulations will be found guilty of an offence. They will be expected to pay a fine of ZWL$50 000. If the equivalent amount of the foreign currency charged is higher than ZWL$50 000, that is what they will pay as a fine.

So businesses have to be very careful now because customers can report you. Bear in mind that if found wanting you will have 2 days to appeal.You would have to convincingly prove that you were not guilty of any offence. If the appeal does not take root, you will be expected to pay the fine. If you fail to pay the fine, a 5 percent interest will be added for each day that passes by.

This will be applicable for a duration of 90 days. If the 90 days come and go and you still have not managed to settle your fine, you will be slapped with a 6-month jail term.

Here are some of the responses to the amendment by Zimbabwens across the country :

The best is to settle for imports and smuggle thru the borders and then their local businesses suffer. ~

And to think they had gotten themselves back in the game with competitive prices, now all that work has been undone by this SI. i feel sorry for the workers.

True usd has lost value also used to buy my grocery for 150 usd for a mth in January now the same amount buys only a few things.

Veduwe the whole damn SI chakteni should be reversed.

Nyari Mashayamombe

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