Market Forces: Parallel Rates Tumble, S.ex Workers Demand $US

Harare - Parallel foreign currency dealers are in a shock as the market rates continue to tumble, after a week in a spiraling trend, at one point fetching 700 bond notes for US$100.

The US$100, which was being exchanged for up to $600 on the illegal foreign currency market on Wednesday evening, plunged to as low as $200 two days later.

The trend is expected to continue today, with the rates expected to self correct to the pre-monetary policy levels.

Most illegal foreign currency dealers in Harare and Bulawayo were in panic after they bought the US dollar at high rates for resell at a premium.

“Things are not well at all,” said an illegal foreign currency dealer operating close to Eastgate Shopping Mall in Harare. “Rate rawa (plunged) from between $450 and $500 to between $200 and $250.”

Another illegal dealer said they were facing losses after spending more to fetch the greenback.
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“Tanyura mudhara (We have incurred losses). We bought it (USD) at a higher value and its value is falling fast against the bond. We are being forced to dispose of it to avoid further losses,” said the illegal foreign currency trader based at Roadport in Harare, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Finance minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube ealier said government had secured a loan facility from the Afreximbank to guarantee the 1:1 convertibility value of Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) balances into the United States dollar and the availability of the greenback for Nostro foreign currency accounts.

Meanwhile, se.x peddlers in Harare are now charging their services in foreign currency. "We are aware that people have money and to be specific USD. Why should you get pleasure for bond notes or transfer. 

We also need that US. Most of the services are now rendered in exchange for USD so are our services,” said a sex worker, who identified herself as Natty.

A crazed pre-election demand for the United States dollar has pushed the black market premium to an all-time high as shortages of foreign exchange fuels a roaring currency black market now driving up food prices.

Prices of basic commodities over the past few weeks have risen as businesses seek to insulate themselves from an inclement financial environment which could erode their earnings if they do not put mark-ups.

As a result, consumers are suffering the consequences of this economic malady, underlined by a
soaring cost of living and worsening suffering of the populace. - Online Sources 

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