Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa said banks and companies involved in local currency manipulation and unjustifiable increases in the prices of goods and services could lose their operating licenses, according to a report by a state media outlet.
The government has identified the entities responsible, the Sunday Mail cited the president as saying. The administration is devising methods to deal with those banks and companies, and the plans will be announced in due course.
“These economic players are not acting alone, they are being sent by foreign countries hostile to Zimbabwe to weaken our local currency,” Mnangagwa told supporters at a political rally, according to the newspaper.
The local currency officially trades at Z$155.14 to the U.S. dollar but readily changes hands on the streets of Harare at Z$350.
The Zimbabwe dollar weakened 24% in the first quarter, while on the black market it depreciated about 20%. Annual inflation rose to 72.7% in March
“We have a challenge in our economy, especially around prices and exchange rates,” the president said. “We are working out a solution, we are now closing in on companies that are behind what we have been witnessing lately.”