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Zimbabwe Penalises Businesses Over Currency Rates

IN a bid to stabilise its newly introduced gold-backed currency, the Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG), Zimbabwean authorities have announced fines for businesses found using inflated exchange rates. Reuters cites a government notice that says any business using an exchange rate higher than the official rate of 13.5 ZiG per US dollar will face a fine of 200,000 ZiG ($14,815).

The notice, issued late on Thursday, outlined that any entity offering ‘goods or services at an exchange rate above the prevailing interbank foreign currency selling rate’ would be deemed guilty of a civil infringement.


Zimbabwe has been grappling with efforts to maintain the stability of the ZiG since its launch in early April. Last month, authorities initiated a crackdown on illegal foreign currency traders to curb fluctuations in exchange rates.

Reports have emerged of some businesses, including supermarkets, charging a premium above the market rate for transactions conducted in the new currency. However, informal traders have shown reluctance in accepting the ZiG.

In a move to reinforce the use of ZiG as the official unit of exchange, Zimbabwe’s Treasury recently took steps to enforce its usage for transactions.

This marks Zimbabwe’s fourth attempt at establishing a local currency within a decade. The southern African country abandoned the Zimdollar last month after it experienced a drastic 70 percent loss in value since the beginning of the year.

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