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Citizens demand government to arrest Osiphatheleni (street money changers)

by Stephen Jakes
10 Sep 2017 at 11:31hrs | Views
As the cash crisis continues to bite in Zimbabwe, the struggling citizens have called on the police and government to arrest illegal money changers who are continuing to increase in number and are seen carrying large sums of money when people spend nights in bank queues trying to access their cash.

Serious cash shortages started escalating since the introduction of the bond notes amid calls for the resignation of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya for causing the crisis.

At the time when people spend nights in bank queues, citizens said it is disheartening to notice that large sums of money are on the streets with the illegal money changers popularly known as Osiphathelleni.

A survey done in Bulawayo street established that these illegal foreign currency dealers operates rights in front of the Bulawayo Tredgold Courts where they can just be arrested and stand trial for the elicit deals but police officers will just be moving and passing them as if all was alright.

The illegal money traders will be holding some of the money on their hands in in different denominations of the US dollar and South African Rands. It would appear their operations have been formalised as no arrest are done on them like it used to happen long back when they would be seen running away when ever they see police officers.

"This is painful that as we struggle just to get the minimum of $20 per day from the bank, some people are carrying thousands of US dollars in $100 notes and you wonder where they get that money from," said one resident queuing at the bank.

The concerned citizens said some illegal money traders are seen holding satchels full of cash everyday and no surprise there is not money in the bank.

These illegal money traders are found mainly along Fort Street in Bulawayo and are comfortably operating which givens the impression that they are working for top government officials who are money laundering.

As the struggle for cash continues enterprising cash dealers are now taking advantage of the shortage of cash by charging between 15% and 25 % interest if they give you cash in exchange for swiping and ecocashing them.

The most affect are the working people who get paid through the banks as they have to part with those 15 and 25 percent unnecessarily just to get cash to enable them to have transport money to and from work on daily bases and other vital issues which needs cash.

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