大发彩神Zimbabwean traders try to grasp implications of ending foreign currencies

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HARARE, June 25 (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwean traders were trying to grasp the implications of a new law gazetted Monday outlawing the use of foreign currencies.

Some of the streets in the central business district, which are usually full of money changers, were generally quiet up to mid-day as many traders stayed away.

Those who opted to come reported the slight fall of the exchange rate to as low as 1 U.S. dollar to 9.00 RTGS dollars from a high of 1 U.S. dollar to 11.500 RTGS dollars at the weekend.

A trader in First Street Mall said not many people were selling, and not many people were buying either, as they sought to establish the meaning of the Statutory Instrument gazette by finance minister Mthuli Ncube on Monday.

"The announcement that was made yesterday (Monday) has really upset things. We don't know what is happening and many traders have not yet been given the going rate of the day by their handlers. So they are staying away until the dust settles," said the trader.

Retailers under the banner of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) welcomed the government pronouncement, adding that they also supported measures taken by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) to stabilize the interbank foreign currency market.

"The dilemma was exacerbated by the demand for U.S. dollars for domestic transactions even for goods ordinarily manufactured in Zimbabwe yet about 96 percent of the workforce earn their wages and salaries in local currency," said CZR president Denford Mutashu in a statement on Tuesday.

"Many had to offload the RTGS dollars or bond notes as soon as they laid their hands on it," he said.

He said the country had to move on and embrace its own currency and have independence in monetary policy formulation and implementation with the RBZ playing the lender of last resort role in sync with the ongoing fiscal policy reforms.

Retailers and wholesalers are urged to change over forthwith and immediately abandon selling goods and services in U.S. dollars or any foreign currency as it has been outlawed. Non-compliance will attract unnecessary and unwanted attention to one's brand by authorities, he warned.

Many retailers and service providers had resorted to charging for goods and services in U.S. dollars as they sought to retain profits after sourcing for foreign currency on the black market to procure their products.

The country's biggest beverage manufacturer - Delta Corporation - has also been charging for its non-returnable bottled products in part U.S. dollars. The future of such goods which bear foreign currency components is yet to be seen.

The country abandoned the Zimbabwe dollar in 5009 amid hyper-inflation, and the currency was officially demonetized in 2015.