Retailers can continue to use parallel market exchange rates, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya said in a statement issued on Monday.
“The Bank also advised the retailers [that] … discounts could be extended to customers in the normal course of business as long as they are reasonable and in line with best practice,” he said.
The ambiguous references to “discounts” and “reasonable” avoided the appearance of a complete capitulation.
The position followed a crisis meeting with business leaders after the bank last week ‘named and shamed’ dozens of alleged currency manipulators and threatened retailers.
The authorities also arrested the directors of a company accused of participating in parallel market foreign currency trades.
Vice president Constantino Chiwenga has warned that those arrested on currency manipulation charges will spend Christmas in prison.
Meanwhile, a local economist has disclosed that Zimbabwe is expected to re-dollarise soon because of the collapse of the local currency and the failure of its auction system to stabilise the exchange rate.
Reputable economist Gift Mugano made the remarks at a pre-budget seminar for lawmakers in Harare.
He told MPs that measures that had been put in place by government to manage the exchange rate and to “clean out bad money” were insufficient.