Harare – The courts have blasted money changers for keeping large sums of money whilst the general populace languishes without money.
Harare Magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa said money changers were destroying the economy and deterrent measures have to be made to set an example .
She said this while passing her sentence on one Chirity Mugoni who was sentenced to eight months jail.
Of the eight, four were suspended on condition of good behaviour, the other four were suspended on condition that she completes 140 hours of community service.
31 illegal money changers have so far appeared before the Harare magistrates courts and nine of them have already been convicted.
The nine convicted persons are Shame Tsopotsa, Evelyn Muronzi, Blessing Chindondondo, Martha Nyahunde, Jennifer Chikwiramakomo, Precious Zihombe, Dominic Basira, Precious Mazivachiwe and Mugoni
The other accused persons are out on bail varying from $100 to $200 depending on the amount they were found in possession of.
Through Statutory Instrument (SI) 122A of 2017- Exchange Control (Amendment) Regulations 2017 (No 5), police are empowered to arrest illegal money-changers and seize whatever currency in their possession.
Government established cash vending as a catalytic agent to arbitrary price hikes and rent-seeking behaviour.
Illegal cash traders had turned Eastgate Shopping Mall, Copacabana, Roadport, Market Square and First Street into zones for illicit foreign currency deals.