THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) says it will announce measures to guide its efforts to source foreign currency from Zimbabweans working in the Diaspora by the end of this month.
Eric Bloch, an advisor at RBZ said the framework that would be used to bring in forex from Zimbabweans working abroad was being worked out and would be made public at the end of March.
“The RBZ will at the end of this month announce measures to deal with the bringing in of foreign currency from Zimbabweans working abroad and it should be made clear that our motives at RBZ are non-political and that the money is needed to resuscitate the national economy,” said Bloch.
He said the issue of getting foreign currency from Zimbabweans working abroad had been politicised when it was a simple economic issue.
“The issue has been looked at from a political angle when it is a simple issue to do with the country’s economy and we should be benefiting from that foreign currency,” he said.
Bloch said other countries benefited immensely from forex currency sent in by their nationals working overseas.
“About 70% of Philippines working overseas last year brought US$1 billion in foreign currency into their country and nothing should stop Zimbabwe benefiting also if the system is done right,” said Bloch.
He said forex from Zimbabweans abroad was finding its way into the parallel markets of South Africa and Botswana yet Zimbabwe was not benefitting from its own nationals who always send in money to support their families.
“We need a big chunk of the money sent in by Zimbabweans working abroad but what we have now is a situation where the bulk of that foreign currency is traded on the black markets of South Africa, Botswana and even in New York,” Bloch said.
He said Zimbabweans in the Diaspora were losing considerable amo-unts of money to fraudsters and black market traders who were charging ridiculous amounts for transfers.
“Very considerable amounts of money from Zimbabweans is lost to fraudsters and the new measures we are putting in place will have to make the exchange rate competitive so that the people will shun the black market,” Bloch said.
To gain the trust of Zimbabweans abroad, Bloch said, the system needed to operate in a reliable, efficient and at a reasonably affordable manner.
Meanwhile, RBZ governor Gideon Gono says the central bank has also sent teams to the country’s borders to conduct foreign currency transactions from foreigners coming into the country.