GOVERNMENT has blacklisted 19 companies for allegedly engaging in illegal foreign currency trading and fuelling domestic inflationary pressures.
The central bank’s Financial Intelligence Unit revealed that the blacklisted entities were engaging in illegal foreign currency transactions.
These include Redan Coupon (Pvt) Ltd, Nariox (Pvt) Ltd, Construction Warehouse (Pvt) Ltd, New Age Marketers Pvt Ltd, Pepwit Investments (Pvt) Ltd, Tirumi Investments (Pvt) Ltd, Mwendo Africa (Pvt) Ltd, Alg World Investments (Pvt) Ltd, Lobmer Investments (Pvt) Ltd, Nisbank Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd, Sailgroom Enterprises, Wyvar Investments, Poweride Safaris, Azelion Energy (Pvt) Ltd, Blackdeck, Paza Buster (Pvt) Ltd, The best Car Rental, The Legacy Car Rental and Josam Enterprises.
In a statement, Finance minister Mthuli Ncube said government was forced to blacklist the companies to curb inflation in the country.
“In an endeavour to maintain sanity in foreign currency markets and to curb inflation, the government is left with no other option than to blacklist the mentioned companies. The Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Praz) will be advised accordingly, to blacklist these entities from doing business with the government,” Ncube said.
Redan Coupon’s chief executive officer Tafadzwa Chigumbu said: “We used to supply some government departments, but we stopped after a government directive issued towards the end of June 2022 where the Ministry of Finance directed all ministries to stop purchasing fuel from Redan Coupon, but only through Genesis and PetroTrade. We have not supplied government departments for over four months now and are surprised to see our company listed. We remain supportive of government efforts to stabilise the economy and the exchange rate.”
Economists described government’s decision as unfair because its aim is to financially cripple the contractors.
Economist Yona Menon Banda said: “Unless it was explicitly predefined contractually, I don’t think those specific actions were necessarily unlawful. Otherwise, the issue could have probably been resolved by just revising the contracts and adding some stipulations. I think it boils down to the government aggressively signalling its intent to protect the exchange rate.”
Another economist Vince Musewe said: “It’s sad that the government resolved to blacklist companies in order to get discipline in the market. The exchange rate had since stabilised since they put in new rules. Whether the net includes everyone is the big question. The problem of identifying a few sacrificial lambs tends to leave others, and it’s not fair.”
He, however, added: “To Zimbabwe and the economy, it’s the right thing to do because we are tired of companies which take advantage of their positions to prejudice the economy by mainly seeking profit from doing nothing.”
Follow us on Twitter @NewsDayZimbabwe