Exchange rate manipulators must face the consequences – CZI

Business Reporter

CONFEDERATION of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) has backed current efforts by the government to weed out exchange rate manipulators but underscored that there is need to employ targeted mechanisms in dealing with the problems as opposed to a blanket approach.

The remarks come in the wake of economic measures implemented by President Emmerson Mnangagwa early this week which saw all banks being temporarily barred from extending loans among other measures.

Media reports this week indicated that the decisions were reached last week following the presidium’s meetings with monetary authorities who unearthed details on how companies are speculatively borrowing and destabilising exchange rates in the process.

This week the central bank launched an investigation targeted at banks amid plans that the nets would soon close in on suspected large corporations.

Quizzed by our publication on whether these initiatives augured well with captains of industry, CZI president Kurai Matsheza said they were in agreement with most of the directives except a few.

“Definitely, those found on the wrong side of the law must face the music. We encourage our membership to discharge duties with due diligence and to be always on the right side of the law.

“We concur with the government that there is a need to maintain the current multi-currency system as this will bolster productivity and exports. CZI believes that the move to compensate depositors of the value they lost at the point of dedolarisation is the way to go,” he said.

The industry lobby group leader said the move to open up the transport sector to private players is also fully backed as well as the willing seller willing buyer directive issued by the government including the commitment to clear all the outstanding auction backlogs within fourteen days.

“However, one issue currently affecting industry is the move to suspend lending to the private sector.

“While we concur on the need to carry out exhaustive investigations into this important matter, there is no need to place a blanket ban which affects everyone including the innocent businesses as it is the case currently.

“The authorities must simply target the suspected perpetrators and investigate them individually other than trapping everyone in the same pit. The ban on lending must therefore be lifted,” he said.

Matsheza added that the CZI has no sympathy with those caught on the wrong side of the law and called on authorities to go beyond just naming and shaming.

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