SI 122: Zivhu wants RBZ to avail forex

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Harare Metropolitan News - Her­ald Re­porter

THE Cross-Bor­der Traders’ As­so­ci­a­tion has ap­pealed to Re­serve Bank of Zim­babwe Gover­nor Dr John Man­gudya to avail South African rands to its mem­bers to en­able them to im­port goods that are scarce lo­cally.

The as­so­ci­a­tion’s pres­i­dent, Cde Killer Zivhu, said on Wed­nes­day that such a move would be in the spirit of the re­cent amend­ment of Statu­tory In­stru­ment 122, which re­stricted the im­por­ta­tion of cer­tain ba­sic goods.

“As cross-bor­der traders we wel­come the amend­ment of Statu­tory In­stru­ment 122 to en­sure peo­ple and com­pa­nies can im­port cer­tain ba­sic goods, and its main ob­jec­tives of en­sur­ing the avail­abil­ity of such ba­sic goods on the lo­cal mar­ket,” said Cde Zivhu.

“But we also reckon that the main play­ers in the suc­cess of this good in­ten­tion are peo­ple liv­ing in the coun­try who do not have easy ac­cess to for­eign cur­rency, es­pe­cially South African rands.

“Those liv­ing in the Di­as­pora may have ac­cess to for­eign cur­rency, but many of them do not have an in­ter­est in send­ing ba­sic goods to the coun­try, es­pe­cially for re­sale. Most of th­ese peo­ple live with their im­me­di­ate fam­i­lies in the Di­as­pora and do not have an in­ter­est in send­ing gro­ceries back home.”

Cde Zivhu said cross-bor­der traders were find­ing it dif­fi­cult to ob­tain for­eign cur­rency, and in cases where they got it, it came at ex­or­bi­tant rates on the par­al­lel mar­ket.

“Ob­tain­ing for­eign cur­rency on the par­al­lel mar­ket has led to the cre­ation of a vi­cious cir­cle of high prices for the ba­sic goods,” he said. “An in­ter­ven­tion by the au­thor­i­ties will en­sure that the ba­sic goods are avail­able at af­ford­able prices.”

Cde Zivhu said the cross-bor­der traders could be en­cour­aged to open for­eign cur­rency ac­counts for the RBZ to de­posit the funds to en­able them to pur­chase the ba­sic goods, es­pe­cially in South Africa.

He said there were more than two mil­lion cross-bor­der traders in the coun­try, with the ma­jor­ity of them ob­tain­ing goods for re­sale back home from neigh­bour­ing coun­tries.

“Their avail­abil­ity and knowl­edge of busi­ness can be ex­ploited to en­sure that we ful­fil the ob­jec­tives of the Gov­ern­ment and en­sure the avail­abil­ity of goods on the mar­ket,” said Cde Zivhu.

Gov­ern­ment sus­pended in­def­i­nitely Statu­tory In­stru­ment (SI) 122 of 2017 in Oc­to­ber to al­low com­pa­nies and in­di­vid­u­als with off­shore and free funds to im­port spec­i­fied ba­sic com­modi­ties that are in short sup­ply due to the spec­u­la­tive be­hav­iour of lo­cal re­tail­ers and panic buy­ing by con­sumers.

Com­modi­ties that can now be im­ported in­clude an­i­mal oils and fats (lard, tal­low and drip­ping), baked beans, body creams, bot­tled wa­ter, ce­ment, ce­re­als, cheese, cof­fee cream­ers, cook­ing oil, crude soy­abean oil, fer­tiliser, fin­ished steel roofing sheets, wheat flour and ice cream.

Those with free funds can also bring in jams, juice blends, mar­garine, may­on­naise, pack­ag­ing ma­te­ri­als, peanut but­ter, pizza base, potato crisps, salad creams, shoe pol­ish, soap, sugar, syn­thetic hair prod­ucts, wheel­bar­rows, agro­chem­i­cals and stock­feeds.

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