FIU Targets Informal Sector In Currency Compliance Drive

The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), under the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), has intensified efforts to enforce compliance with the Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG) currency, particularly focusing on the informal sector.

This move comes as part of measures to curb currency manipulation, which has been identified as a threat to the stability of the ZiG.

According to FIU director general Mr. Oliver Chiperesa, while compliance has been encouraging among formal businesses including retail shops and local manufacturers, challenges persist within the informal sector.

Sectors such as tuckshops, restaurants, vendors, commuter omnibus operators, grocery shops, saloons, hardware shops, and certain manufacturers have been highlighted for either refusing to accept ZiG or utilizing exorbitant black market rates.

“The blitz on non-compliant entities began three months ago following the introduction of ZiG, aimed at thwarting attempts to undermine the new currency,” Mr. Chiperesa stated in an interview. “Although there has been positive uptake among formal businesses, the informal sector and some manufacturers remain resistant.”

Mr. Chiperesa emphasized that the FIU’s crackdown will continue until complete compliance is achieved across all sectors. He noted that some manufacturers have been found splitting invoices, demanding foreign currency for significant portions of transactions despite ZiG’s introduction.

“We are engaging rigorously with these suppliers and manufacturers, with fines already imposed on several offenders to ensure compliance throughout the supply chain,” he added. The FIU’s recent actions include freezing 522 bank accounts and imposing heavy fines on 140 entities and individuals found violating exchange control regulations.

Mr. Chiperesa underscored the importance of compliance in stabilizing the foreign exchange market, urging businesses to embrace ZiG fully to maintain market stability.

“As we continue to see signs of improvement, especially in the formal sector, we call on all businesses to cooperate and adhere to the regulations,” Mr. Chiperesa concluded. “This stability hinges on collective efforts to eliminate malpractices and promote the legitimate use of ZiG across Zimbabwe.”

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