Zim points fingers at exporters as forex dries up
28 May 2019 - by Staff reporter
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.