After years of what we thought were unfounded conspiracy theories, today the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor, Dr. Mangudya has confirmed your worst nightmare. Dr. Mangudya has confirmed that a secret group of people is making the black market flourish. And he went on to question the competence of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) in failing to catch these “influential people”. The Governor said;
Those figures of foreign currency being bought or sold for up to six times its value were computer-generated…The people moving money onto the black market, the people behind the money changers are not your ordinary Zimbabwean…These are influential people with access to huge sums of cash. It has been discovered that one character has been pushing onto the black market as much as $48 million in foreign currency. This person has access to cash and it is difficult to understand how this could have happened without the knowledge of the CIO, the FIU, the police as well as the commercial bank. The meeting called by the President could trigger a nasty fall-out and there is already gnashing of teeth. Some people have a lot of explaining to do and heads will roll…The bank does not participate in parallel market practices…we have been investigating and if you have any information, please bring it to us.
Whilst I don’t really know what part the CIO has to play in stemming black markets, FIU seem to have been incompetent on this score (that’s if it’s ever competent at all). Since cash burning resurrected a couple of years ago just a measly number of moneychangers have been arrested for illegal money changing activities. Yet in the Central Business District, I see money changers standing at corners with a bunch of monies.
I need not even talk about the police, the police are ever-present in town chasing vendors, kombies but I have never seen money changers being chased. No wonder people develop some conspiracy theories that elite people are running the black market.
Beyond the due diligence that banks conduct through their Know-Your-Customer policy, I don’t think banks have any other way of stemming black markets. That’s for FIU and the police. Surely if banks are not practicing due diligence within its scope, the RBZ would notice it under its Bank Supervision function, isn’t it? Unless the RBZ itself is not competent and just playing the blame game.