Zim points fingers at exporters as forex dries up

Exporters are to blame for the foreign currency crunch in Zimbabwe, senior government officials have said after the country’s pseudo denomination, the Real-time Gross Transfer (RTGT) dollar, lost 50% of its value since it was launched in February.

And with inflation rocketing to 75.86% last month, officials are now turning on traders with uncorroborated accusations that they are keeping forex-earned profits cashed away in offshore accounts.

According to senior Treasury official, George Guvamatanga, that figure could be as much as $900 million.

Additional figures of un-repatriated forex earnings, Guvamatanga said, were $500 million owed from $4.3 billion in Zimbabwean export earnings last year, and a further $400 million from $1.4 billion in exports so far this year.

Apparently another $800 million is also kept in forex accounts inside Zimbabwe.

Altogether, the Treasury secretary said, Zimbabwe’s economy was hobbled by $1.7 billion in forex earnings that should by now have been repatriated back to the country.

Exporters however contend that the RTGT dollar, a fledging currency made up mostly of bonded money, is too volatile and cannot be traded with real dollars because of its fast-depreciating performance against the Greenback.

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