Zimbabwe Using US Dollar Officially

The Zimbabwe Gazette said Crisis-torn nation of Zimbabwe is now using the United States dollar for pricing, quotations and making general transactions. US Dollar Businesses now peg their prices according to the US$ rate whilst others resort to asking clients to pay for services in the greenback or the South African Rand. Though the move is illegal, the government has not yet intervened in any way besides issuing warnings to offenders despite widespread disgruntlements from the public. The main reason is the Z$ continues to lose value on a daily basis.

A stroll in Harare’s CBD revealed prices are going up everyday. For example, a 2 litre bottle of Orange Crush which cost $1.7 billion last week now costs $3.5 billion. A litre of Coke which cost $200 million is now at $1.4 billion. A kg of beef which was at $1.5 billion now costs $7 billion. A bar of washing soap which was at $1.2 billion is now at $3 billion. A 2 litre bottle of cooking oil which cost $3.5 billion is now at figures exceeding $5 billion. On Tuesday this week, the Z$ was pegged at $2.2 billion against the greenback on the Interbank rate. However, it was reported to be around $2.5 billion on the parallel market.

The Estate Agents Council of Zimbabwe (EACZ) and the Tenants Association of Zimbabwe have reportedly condemned Estate Agents who indulge in charging rentals in hard currency. A local property analyst says the continued weakening of the Zimbabwean dollar has resulted in transactions in the property market being carried out in foreign currency particularly the US dollar. Last month, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor, Gideon Gono liberalized foreign currency trade in the country in an effort to get rid of the illegal parallel market. However, the black market rates are always higher than the bank rates therefore minimizing the chance of a single forex trade rate.

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