Black markets appear when an official market has become overregulated or unworkable which is the case in Zimbabwe. The market then thrives in direct proportion to the failure of official markets to function freely.
The country’s foreign currency short age has reportedly forced some government departments and parastatals to source the United States dollars from the black market to fund their various activities in breach of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s (RBZ) foreign currency exchange protocols.
For example , in January 2018, Newsday ,reported that Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara) chief executive officer, Nancy Masiiwa testified at the High Court in a matter where the parastatal’s five executives were being charged with sourcing over $2,8 million from the black market to pay off part of the parastatal’s debt to Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA).
And in September 2017, DailyNews reported that Banks where at the centre of black market.
Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa has rubbished the claims that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) was fuelling the black market through selling foreign currency.
Minister Chinamasa said this during the National Assembly’s Question and Answer session on Wednesday.
Minister Chinamasa said all the money in the country’s central bank was accounted for and there is no room for RBZ to be selling cash on the black market.
“I want to dismiss categorically that the Reserve Bank has anything to do with fuelling the parallel market and I will explain,” said Chinamasa.
“All exports, foreign currency earnings from exports accrue to the Reserve Bank and almost a big chunk of that foreign currency is retained by the Reserve Bank for importation of essentials such as fuel, electricity and raw materials for the private sector. A small percentage is left with the banks for use by the exporters. So, there is no foreign currency which is not explained or accountable to the public; the figures are there to show.”
“The problem about this country’s economy is low production, low exports. The foreign currency is received from exports. For as long as the demand for exports is more than the supply, the problem will not go away. We can wish it to go away, but you cannot send a policeman into every nook and crevice to look for money changers,” said the minister.
Zimbabwe has done all it could to make it impossible for its people to use anything but the official currency in day-to-day transactions.
“The problem can only be resolved by an oversupply of foreign currency which will come through more exports which is why, as Government, we are driving exports right across the board in terms of mining, agriculture and tourism. That is what will eventually kill the problem which is being referred to.”
He said licensing of more bureaux de change will also not solve the prevailing problem as foreign currency is in short supply.