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Dollar plunges

Staff writers

THE government fuelled the plunge of the Zimbabwe dollar to an all-time low of $2 700 to US$1 on Wednesday after it authorised dealers to buy foreign currency at “any rate”

to help Noczim raise hard currency to pay fuel suppliers.

The dollar traded at $2 700 to the greenback at the close of business on Wednesday and $2 100 yesterday as it eased back on news that Noczim had secured another lifeline facility elsewhere.

There is also speculation that Zesa began buying the South African rand at $250: R1. Analysts said Zesa had descended on the border town of Beitbridge to capture limited inflows from South Africa.

Meanwhile, a reliable source at the Reserve Bank told the Zimbabwe Independent Zimbabwe had one day’s supply of foreign currency in its coffers.

“Speculation has been caused by the statement by Noczim and this has put pressure on the local dollar as forex dealers sought to capitalise on the weak Zimdollar,” said the source.

The government had prioritised Noczim as Zesa has reportedly won a reprieve from the South Africans in a deal said to have been clinched on the sidelines of the talks between President Mugabe and South African President Thabo Mbeki when the latter visited Zimbabwe last Monday.

“Fuel suppliers have been demanding cash upfront, and as the South African delegation which accompanied Mbeki made an undertaking not to switch Zesa off, priority has been given to fuel procurement,” said the source.

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