2018 foreign currency shortages

Revision as of 10:01, 6 December 2018 by Jonathan1 (talk | contribs) (Created page with "The '''2018 foreign currency shortages''' resulted in an increase in prices of basic commodities, medication and fuel in Zimbabwe. The government of Zimbabwe adopted measu...")
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)

The 2018 foreign currency shortages resulted in an increase in prices of basic commodities, medication and fuel in Zimbabwe. The government of Zimbabwe adopted measures to control the shortages by pegging the Zimbabwean Bond Note and the United States of American dollar as 1 as to 1 and introducing a maximum sentence of 10 years for forex dealers.

The 1 as to 1 scale proved to be theoretical as the street value of the Bond Note against the Us dollar diminished as witnessed by the fact that money changers rated the bond against the Us dollar. The rates soared up to 1 as to 3.50 by December of 2018.


In October of 2018, it was reported that The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe conceded that the bond notes, which were initially pegged at the same value as the dollar were not equal to the Us dollar. This was after it directed banks to open separate accounts for local and foreign currencies in a fresh attempt to solve the country’s cash crisis.

Parallel Markets

The parallel market cost of the US dollar to bond notes rose to 200 percent in December of 2018 from about 130 percent in June of the same year, while the electronic transfer rate on platforms such as Zipit, RTGS and mobile money transfers soared to 234 percent (US$100 fetched $300 bond notes or $340 in electronic transfers).

Mthuli Ncube's alleged admission

It was alleged that Mthuli Ncube admitted that the country’s surrogate bond note was not equal to the United States dollar, contradicting earlier government pronouncements on the currency.[1]

However Ncube said that the bond and the Us dollar had the same value and should be pegged 1 as to 1 . Ncube said that he wanted to maintain the pegged rate of exchange of 1:1 in order to protect people’s savings.[2]


Further to the various measures that Government is putting in to accelerate economic reforms that are necessary to right-sizing the economy, it is critical to restate Government’s great commitment to reducing fiscal imbalances which are the root cause of the many challenges the economy is facing.

The challenges include cash shortages and the proliferation of foreign exchange parallel market rates which have a negative effect on prices. These challenges require that Government position the economy on a strong footing by implementing reforms that include cutting on government expenditure, working towards import parity pricing system, increasing efficiency on government delivery systems and fast-tracking the State Owned Enterprises reforms, among a host of reforms.

These reforms shall be accompanied by a strong and sustainable currency reform system which will follow after the execution of the above reforms. This is necessary to ensure that any currency reform programme that the Government would put in place is effective and that it has minimum disruption to the business.

Accordingly and in view of the need for an orderly currency reform programme that will be followed when the economic fundamentals are right to do, the country shall continue to use the multi-currency system which was put in place by Government in 2009. This system entails that foreign exchange earners are not prejudiced of their regulatory foreign exchange receipts and that those who do not earn foreign exchange have access to foreign exchange through the banking system as is per the current policy of foreign exchange management system. In parallel, the Reserve Bank shall continue to maintain adequate resources for the import of essential commodities.

Over and above the Nostro Deposit Protection Guarantee from Afreximbank, we are also reinforcing Nostro foreign currency accounts with a statutory instrument to guarantee that these are private deposits, and neither the Reserve Bank nor government has any access to them. Government recognise concerns surrounding RTGS deposits, and we commit to preserve the value of these balances on the current rate of exchange of 1 to 1, in order to protect people’s savings.

Hon. Prof. Mthuli Ncubce Minister of Finance anti Economic Development

10 October 2018

Maximum sentence for Forex dealers

The law prescribed a maximum 10-year jail sentence for illegal foreign currency dealers. In November of 2018, it was reported that forex dealers had disappeared from the streets where they used to plight their trade.[3]

ZANU PF urging people not to buy money from Forex dealers

ZANU-PF told its members to desist from buying money from money changers to make them disappear. The party blamed the illegal money dealers for causing the economic challenges in 2018.