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Zimbabwe Currency Stabilizes as Informal Market Dwindles

  • Chris Gande

The Zimbabwe dollar has regained some ground against the U.S. dollar since the start of Harare’s offensive against the black market in foreign exchange. At one point the U.S. dollar fetched 30,000 Zimbabwe dollars, but has slipped to Z$20,000 per U.S. dollar.

The Zimbabwe dollar’s recovery won’t last, though, according to Lucy Sibanda, who has worked in the parallel currency market for six years. Before Operation Restore Order she operated from a stall in the Bulawayo forex mart known as the World Bank. But she has adapted to the new circumstances for informal traders.

Reporter Chris Gande of VOA’s Studio 7 for Zimbabwe spoke with Mrs. Sibanda about the currency and her business.

Economist Eric Bloch, a member of the board of advisors of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, offers a different outlook for the exchange rate. He says the recovery in the Zimbabwe dollar spells the beginning of the end for the parallel market. Exchange rates had gotten out of hand, so much so that customers refused to pay sky-high rates for dollars. Now, he says, flows through the RBZ’s Homelink scheme are picking up.

Mr. Bloch explained his views to reporter Chris Gande.

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