Retailers’ body welcomes Zim dollar re-introduction… most supermarkets resist

Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers has welcomed the re-introduction of the Zimbabwe Dollar but urged the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) to desist from printing money willy-nilly as it will exacerbate the inflation rate .

In a statement released on Tuesday,  CZR president Denford Mutashu said the new currency needed  people’s confidence and  this could only be done through financial discipline and halting quasi-fiscal policies.

“The CZR further urges the RBZ to exercise restraint and prudence with the printing machine to safeguard the value of the Zim dollar while the Min of Finance should desist from inconsistent policy pronouncements that have dented trust and confidence in the past”

The printing of money by RBZ has been blamed for the massive inflation in the country leaving the general public with no confidence in the money issuing authority thus CZR warned the government to desist from such practices and maintain discipline to maintain the value of the new currency.

“There is a need to quickly work on confidence-building measures around the new currency and also deal with the political side of the economy by putting national interests ahead of our own personal aggrandizement, egos and gains/benefits”, said Mutashu

Mutashu further urged government to embark on non-selective application of the law and arresting everyone involved in illegal foreign currency dealing starting with the kingpins who supply the streets.

“The government should move in to act on the forex parallel market and arrest not only the street boys as lip service but the financiers of that market. It’s easy as all these tracks sections are electronic one way or the other.”

He  urged retailers in the country to comply with the new government gazette (Statutory Instrument SI 142 of 2019) which banned the multi-currency pricing in Zimbabwe

Mutashu said this was  a positive move in arresting the price distortions that were motivated by the inflated and stage-managed parallel market.

 Mutashu further advised suppliers to stop demanding payment in foreign currency as it will derail the government efforts.

“In pursuit of full compliance, the CZR  urges manufacturers, millers, bakers, all suppliers and manufacturers and other service providers to comply with the law and stop forthwith demanding payment for goods and services from retailers, wholesalers and traders in foreign currency. “

In support of the CZI, Busisa Moyo a member of the Presidential Advisory Council (PAC) and  also Chief Executive Officer at United Refineries warned panic buyers who are hoarding  expensive goods in speculation that the prices will soon fall.

Writing on his micro-blogging twitter account Moyo said.

“Colleagues in Business: a friendly warning. Beware of expensive stock if the RTGS rate firms. Make sure you don’t have large stocks you will be undercut by cheaper stock.”

Meanwhile, shops in Harare are yet to comply with the new law.

In a survey by Zim Morning Post on Tuesday, most shops were reluctant to change their prices as they maintained pricing goods in both RTGS and foreign currency except for OK Zimbabwe Limited  which duly issued a memo to all branches.

Among the shops charging in multi-currency pricing system by Tuesday mid-morning   were Pick and Pay, Food World, fast food outlets Chicken Slice and Chicken in while pharmacies were already removing some drugs in stock.