Zimbabwe: Makoni Arrested for Violating Exchange Rate

21 October 2021

POLITICIAN Simba Makoni appeared at the Harare Magistrates Court on allegations of violating the Exchange Control Act after trading products at his Power Speed Electrical shop in Harare using an exchange rate above the official rate of $88.55

Makoni, who is jointly charged with his company, was not asked to plead to the charges when he appeared before magistrate Mr Stanford Mambanje, who remanded him to November 17 on free bail.

The Exchange Control Act prohibits selling, displaying and offering of goods or services for sale at an exchange rate above the ruling exchange rate in Zimbabwe.

It is said that on October 6, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe received information that some companies that are procuring foreign currency at the forex auction are selling their products above the official exchange rate.

The State had it that the Reserve Bank Exchange Control Department deployed its officers to confirm the allegations by approaching a number of retail outlets.

On the following day, John Mashal Chinembiri and Tanaka Lincoln Sanyamahwe from Reserve Bank Financial Intelligence Unit Department visited Makoni's shop where Chinembiri bought 750ml of Benzine for $423,65 while Sanyamahwe purchased the same product for US$2,42.

Mr Lancelot Mutsokoti had it that the two were issued with point of sale receipts reflecting a rate of $175 per US$1 which is against the ruling exchange rate of $88,55 that was prevailingOctober on 5, 2021.

National Generics trading as Greenwood Pharmacies and one of its directors Celestine Marufu Gadzikwa also separately appeared in court on similar allegations.

It was allegedly trading using an exchange rate of $170;US$1.

Last week the director of Consolidated Farming Investments trading as Farm and City, Tanaka Hofisi, appeared at the Harare Magistrates Courts on allegations of selling their products using an exchange rate of $185.

Bestzone Pharmacy and its director Isaac Chipako also separately appeared before the same court facing similar allegations.

It was allegedly using a rate of $180: US$1..

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