RBZ's Financial Intelligence Unit Freezes Harare City Council’s Foreign Currency Accounts
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) has frozen Harare City Council (HCC)’s foreign currency accounts for charging prices exclusively in foreign currency and using parallel market rates.
This is part of a raft of measures the FIU will continue to implement to maintain prevailing market stability, according to The Sunday Mail.
HCC and other municipalities have been under investigation for defying Treasury going against the law by pegging prices for some exclusively in foreign currency.
FIU director-general Mr Oliver Chiperesa told The Sunday Mail in an interview that the net is closing in on all non-compliant local authorities. He said:
We have frozen the Harare City Council US dollar accounts. In terms of the law, they are expected to allow the public to pay in either currencies, but they are having a practice where they are insisting on US dollar payments without the option of paying in Zimbabwe dollars for some services. We have been engaging them, to bring them to order.
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So we are going to be targeting public entities, not only those refusing to accept the local currency for certain services, but also businesses that are charging using parallel market rates. There’s no excuse for anyone, especially public institutions.
Harare City Council (HCC) announced on 31 August that some of its services shall be paid in United States Dollars (USD) with effect from the 1st of September 2022.
In a notice seen by Pindula News, the local government authority said the move was aimed at ensuring continued service delivery. The notice said the fees exclude all charges that are accessible through the monthly bills, that is, water consumption, sewerage, refuse collection and rates.