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Facing forex shortage, Zimbabwe black market traders patch up soiled dollar notes –

Worn-out U.S. banknotes repaired and sold in Zimbabwe

HARARE (Reuters) – Zimbabwean black market currency trader Cuthbert Gudza holds up a $2 dollar note to assess a tear in it, and delicately applies glue to make it whole again. He then leaves it in the sun to dry out, declaring it’s “as good as new”.

Well-worn U.S. dollar notes are finding a new home on the streets of Harare, where they are bought at nearly half their value for resale at a profit after mending, as Zimbabweans find creative ways to survive an unrelenting financial onslaught.

Following the collapse of the Zimbabwe dollar in 2009 amid record-breaking inflation, locals have relied on the greenback for daily transactions. But with limited access to the U.S. currency, some grimy notes are making a fresh comeback.

Rejected by supermarkets and other formal traders, the torn notes have found takers like Gudza at a bustling Kuwadzana township shopping centre, about 15 km west of central Harare.

Even though Zimbabwean banks are mandated to accept soiled money in exchange for crispy notes, general mistrust in the financial system after people lost their savings due to hyperinflation has seen black market traders preferred over banks.

At the shopping centre, a booming voice from a portable speaker shouts: “We buy torn dollars at a good price, rush here.”

“If the serial number from both sides is visible, it qualifies for sale,” said Gudza, a 33-year-old father of three.

“I am a potato seller, but I saw buying torn U.S. dollar notes as another business opportunity. These notes are rejected in supermarkets, but I take them for resale,” he said.

“We pay 600 Zimbabwe dollars per every U.S. dollar. Those who do not want money, we sell them our produce, including potatoes, oranges or apples,” added Gudza. “If I cannot patch up the notes, I take them to the bank.”

Aware of the trend, the central bank has asked citizens to make use of official channels to exchange old notes.

“The Reserve Bank is very clear about the soiled notes and if you have a problem, the central bank is ready to take them in exchange for better notes,” said Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Monetary Policy Committee member, Persistence Gwanyanya.

“Banks should be in a position to accept them,” Gwanyanya told Reuters.

(Reporting by Nyasha Chingono; Editing by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo and Bernadette Baum)

By Nyasha Chingono

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Zimbabwe Parliament Enacts Law Critics Say Paralyzes NGO Freedoms – Voice of America – VOA News

Jeers filled the air when lawmakers of the ruling ZANU-PF party celebrated after the Private Voluntary Organizations Amendment Bill, which regulates non-governmental organizations, passed in Zimbabwe’s Senate late Wednesday.

The legislation, which still awaits President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s signature, makes it a criminal offense for NGOs to support or oppose political parties or candidates in any election.

Supporters say the legislation is designed to curb financing for terrorism and money laundering in Zimbabwe. Ziyambi Ziyambi, Zimbabwe’s justice minister, told Parliament after the bill passed that law-abiding NGOs have nothing to fear.

“All we are saying is: if you come and you say you want to assist – in quotes – water sanitation, you have not any business in getting into political lobbying,” he said. “So, we are saying: we want to follow the money where it is going. So, we believe that this is a progressive piece of legislation.”

But opposition lawmakers and human rights activists don’t see it that way.

Musa Kika, a human rights lawyer who heads the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, said the law infringes on Zimbabweans’ basic rights.

“Our position is this law is unconstitutional,” he said. “It violates freedom of association. It violates citizens’ rights to organize and self-organize in spaces outside the state. So that’s our position that this law cannot and will not stand constitutional scrutiny by an independent and any competent court.”

Kika said the process to enact the bill had been driven by the president’s office, and that parliament ignored Zimbabweans’ objections during public hearings on the proposed legislation.

“And the consequences for our country are going to be dire,” he said. “From a social protection point of view, from [a] diminished accountability point of view, even economic fortunes given that development support in Zimbabwe was contributing annually almost $1 billion. We are going to see a significant reduction in those that find Zimbabwe being a safe space for them to bring their development support.”

Kika said the NGOs in Zimbabwe are now at the “mercy” of the government.

During the debate in Parliament, a member of the opposition, Morgen Komichi, said the new law would result in only the government’s voice being heard.

“In a democracy, there should be different voices,” he said. “People should air their views. They should converge, discuss and plan their things. In last 42 years, Zimbabwe hasn’t seen an organization which is a threat to government. Please do not enact this law….”

Meanwhile, a top local official of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) – one of Zimbabwe’s major financiers – said the legislation could have major consequences. Priscilla Sampil, acting director of USAID Zimbabwe, told a local newspaper this week that the agency’s programs with local NGOs will be severely affected if President Mnangagwa signs the bill into law.

USAID has provided $4.5 billion in support to Zimbabwe since 1980 for water and
sanitation, HIV/AIDS and other health-related issues.

The agency declined to comment to VOA for this story.

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Chibaya raises a stink in Parliament after saying Chamisa is … – The Zimbabwe Mail

Amos Chibaya

Zimbabwe opposition legislator Amos Chibaya yesterday raised a stink in Parliament after he interjected that Nelson Chamisa was the President of Zimbabwe.

When asked to withdraw that statement he said he had said Chamisa was president of Citizens Coalition for Change Zimbabwe.

His colleague Settlement Chikwinya said Chibaya had said Chamisa is president of the Zimbabwe Citizens Coalition for Change.

Deputy Speaker Tsitsi Gezi said she would have to check with Hansard, the Parliamentary record, what Chibaya had actually said.

Chibaya interjected when Perseveriance Zhou was debating Zimbabwe President Emerson Mnangagwa’s State of the Nation Address.

Full debate

HON. P. ZHOU: I think so. – [HON. CHIBAYA: President of Zimbabwe Nelson Chamisa] – [HON. MEMBERS: Aaaah!] – [HON. T. MOYO: Zviroto zvako izvo.]  – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – [HON. MATHE: Withdraw that.] – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Zhou, please go ahead.

HON. P. ZHOU: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

HON. TOGAREPI: On a point of order Madam Speaker.  I think the Hon. Member must withdraw the statement that Chamisa is the President of Zimbabwe.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Who said that?  He must withdraw because that is a

misleading statement. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order, may we please have order in the House.  Who said Chamisa is the President of Zimbabwe – [AN HON. MEMBER: Hon. Chibaya!] –

Hon. Chibaya, please…

Hon. Chikwinya having stood up

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Chikwinya, I did not recognise you. Please may you take your seat?

HON. CHIKWINYA: Handiti zvanzi tiite withdraw.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  No. Are you the one who said that?

HON. CHIKWINYA:  We want to withdraw.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Are you the one who said that statement – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

HON. CHIKWINYA:  Haana kunzwa zvakanaka. Hanzi President Chamisa is the President of Zimbabwe Citizen Coalition for Change.  Haana kunzwa the last part – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Chibaya, please may you withdraw your statement – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

An Hon. Member having stood to raise a point of order.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Please sit down.  You cannot raise a point of order on top of another one. Hon. Chibaya, withdraw your statement.

HON. CHIBAYA:  Hon. Speaker, I do not know what you want me to withdraw.  It is true that President Chamisa is the President of Zimbabwe Citizen Coalition for Change – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  What has that got to do with the business of this House? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – If you continue behaving in that manner, I will send you out Hon. Members.  You are disrupting the smooth running of the business of this House – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – I am giving you the last warning.

HON. T. MOYO:  On a point of order, Hon. Chibaya said Chamisa is the President of Zimbabwe. That has to be withdrawn – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –   The overzealous member said Chamisa is the President of Zimbabwe and that has to be withdrawn.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Chibaya, may you be honourable and withdraw your statement?  Why are you misleading the people?  Hon. Chibaya withdraw your statement!  Hon. Chibaya withdraw your statement! – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

Hon. Gonese having stood to raise a point of order.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Gonese, take your seat.

HON. GONESE:  I have not spoken.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  I have not recognised you.  Please take your seat.

HON. GONESE:  I just stood up.  I think it is allowed to stand up Madam Speaker – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Why are you standing Hon. Gonese?

HON. GONESE:  I want to raise a point of order …

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  No, why are you disrupting the smooth running of this motion? Please take a seat.

HON. GONESE:  It is not that Madam Speaker.  I just stood up and I did not say anything.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Take your seat Hon. Gonese.

Hon. Chibaya withdraw your statement.

HON. CHIBAYA:  Hon. Speaker, I do not know what you want me to withdraw I said the President of CCC Zimbabwe Nelson Chamisa.  What is wrong with that?

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: That is not what you said Hon. Chibaya.

HON. CHIBAYA: That is what I said and I can replay it.  I do not know where the anger is coming from, I do not know why my Central Committee Member is getting angry. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Anyway Hon. Members, we will check in the Hansard.  You may continue Hon. Zhou.

Source: InsiderZim

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Zimbabwe’s Central Bank Cut Its Benchmark Interest Rate to 150% from 200% on … – Latest Tweet by – LatestLY

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