By Alois Vinga
THE Finance Ministry has cancelled operating licences for 17 Pharmacies nationwide after the Financial Intelligence Unit Investigations (FIU) conducted investigations which found the businesses violating the exchange rate.
The measures come after a prolonged period of diplomacy and engagement with the business community on the need to respect prevailing exchange rates.
Before this, government gave an ear to the cries from industry which demanded a market determined exchange rate by refining the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Dutch Auction system in a development that has seen exchange rate equilibrium being achieved on both the parallel and official markets.
However, Treasury said it was dismayed by the continued insatiable appetite to profiteer exhibited by the business community.
“The government notes with concern that some market players continue to exhibit highly destabilising forward pricing and speculation in outright violation of exchange control directives as well as well as standing government policy guidelines with respect to pricing and the use of domestic currency,” said Treasury.
It was also noted that this practice is also rampant and certainly not limited to the pharmaceutical sector, in an indication that more companies will soon face penalties.
“Ongoing investigations by the FIU have revealed that some pharmacies are using parallel market exchange rates ranging from between ZW$8 500 to ZWL11 000 against the US$, in complete violation of government policy and the country’s anti monZWL 10 000,” Treasury said.
A commitment to revamp the broad use of the local currency for domestic transactions as well as holding all violators to account was pledged amid a reinforced call directed to Government Agencies including local authorities to collect their fees and levies in local currency.
“The transacting public is encouraged to resist all forms of unfair pricing by retailers and immediately report violations to the Financial Intelligence Unit,” added Treasury.
List of Closed Pharmacies