Sunday News Reporters
THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is making supplementary allocations amounting to $30 million on a weekly basis to cater for critical sectors of the economy.
The move comes as speculation has once again gripped the nation with rent seekers and opportunists spreading unfounded messages especially on social media to paint a situation where the economy is nose diving.
In an interview yesterday, RBZ Governor Dr John Mangudya said the additional $30 million was meant to cater for essential imports that include raw materials and consumables.
“Specifically fuel is getting an additional $10 million, cooking oil raw materials $4 million, $5 million towards electricity and around $2 million for pharmaceuticals,” he said.
In an earlier statement, Dr Mangudya dispelled social media messages that are circulating purporting that shortage of basic commodities was imminent.
“The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe would like to advise the Zimbabwean public to dismiss the social media messages that are circulating and suggesting that there is going to be a shortage of basic commodities. These messages are meant to cause panic and despondency and mayhem to the unsuspecting and peace loving members of the public. All such and other statements should be dismissed with the contempt they deserve,” he said.
Dr Mangudya said it was unfortunate that some people were peddling lies.
“Zimbabweans should refuse to be hoodwinked by fake social media statements designed to increase premiums on the parallel markets by misguided rent seekers. In addition, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development did not print bond notes to buy US dollars from the streets. Such malicious statements are counterproductive and are meant to sabotage the economy that is on the rebound on account of the good agricultural outturn, strong performance of the mining sector and the recovery of the manufacturing sector,” he said.
His warning comes at a time when the social media has gone into overdrive, spewing messages that are causing panic among the public. Some of the messages purport that the country will soon run out of basic commodities because of inflation.
Some of the messages are even warning people to stock groceries as shelves will soon run out while there are allegations that prices of most basic commodities will spiral up.
Sunday News also checked with major retail shops in Bulawayo and observed that although there were some slight adjustments in prices most of the shops were still stocked with basic goods.
The prices of mealie-meal was however, stable in most shops.
Meanwhile, there are fears among retail shops and some individuals that there could be some counterfeit bond notes in circulation as some unscrupulous individuals try to exploit the situation. Last week Sunday News saw some retail shops in Beitbridge and Gwanda towns displaying detected fake notes as warning to their customers.
A saleslady at a supermarket in Beitbridge revealed that those dealing in fake notes were now preying on innocent shoppers who will be using plastic money. She said the crooks no longer risk using fake notes at till points themselves as most businesses in the border town were aware of fake notes.
“They pretend to be shopping, holding wads of fake bond notes, to attract shoppers who will be desperate for cash. If one falls for the bait they’ll buy the dealer’s groceries using either their debit card or mobile money transfer and get the fake cash, which they’ll only realise is fake when they try to use it later,” she said.
Pharmaceutical Society of Zimbabwe president Mr Sikhumbuzo Mpofu said they have made representations to the RBZ who have put the industry on high priority.
“The RBZ should add more resources to the sector. In your view what is more important medicines, fuel and electricity?”