The government yesterday gazetted new regulations that criminalise the conduct of charging above the official exchange rate and refusing to take the Zimdollar in local transactions.
Companies that also abuse the foreign currency obtained at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s auction will also be penalised, according to Statutory Instrument 127 of 2021 Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) (Financial Laws) released yesterday.
Companies will now be required to state the purpose for which they are applying money from the auction and using the money for other purposes will now be a punishable offence, with government fixing the penalty at $1 million or its equivalent in foreign currency.
Under the new regulations, companies will be fined $50 000 or its equivalent in foreign currency for refusing to take payment in local currency at the official exchange rate.
Companies will be fined $5 million for supplying false information through their banks when applying for the foreign currency at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe auction.
A $50 000 penalty will also be levied on anyone selling goods at an exchange rate above the official exchange rate and the same fine will be used on companies that issue out Zimdollar receipts on goods sold in US dollars.
For every day that the penalty is not paid, offenders will be fined 5% of the outstanding fixed penalty for a period of 90 days.
Offenders would have 48 hours to appeal if found guilty.
“Upon the expiry of the 90-day period within which any civil penalty order of any category must be paid or complied with, the defaulter shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level six or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year or to both (in the case of a corporate defaulter, every one of its officers is liable to the penalty of imprisonment, and to the fine if the corporate defaulter fails to pay it),” part of the SI read.