Financial Intelligence Unit cracks down on manufacturers over currency violations


HARARE - The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has frozen several accounts of manufacturers refusing to accept Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG) or limiting transactions in the local currency, according to FIU Director General Oliver Chiperesa. 

Image: AFP 

The move comes amid concerns that the actions of some manufacturers could trigger fresh volatility in the exchange rate and inflation rate. 

Chiperesa revealed that the FIU had begun a targeted exercise against manufacturers last week, resulting in the freezing of numerous industry player accounts and the imposition of penalties. 

"We are using both engagement and enforcement against them," Chiperesa said. He added that the FIU is acting on reports from retailers and is particularly concerned about manufacturers and suppliers who restrict the amounts of ZiG they receive from downstream traders. 

The FIU's actions have seen a total of 534 accounts frozen and 161 penalised for violating exchange control regulations. 

Twelve foreign currency manipulators were caught between Monday and Tuesday this week. Chiperesa warned that certain offenders could be barred from using financial services for a significant period. 

Meanwhile, an official from the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI), the country's largest business lobby group, denied charging exorbitant prices. 

"We are charging a price that allows us to continue producing, we can’t charge a price that will see us close shop again," the official said, calling for engagement to reach a common understanding. 

Manufacturers have accused the FIU of harassing struggling companies to impose "price controls".

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