State unleashes CIO on cash barons

Acie Lumumba

FINANCE minister Mthuli Ncube will this week meet with the country’s State security agents for a briefing on the soaring foreign currency shortages as government tightens the noose on highly-placed forex dealers believed to have “captured” the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) and are willy-nilly pushing up the parallel market exchange rate.


Ncube’s spokesperson William Mutumanje, popularly known as Acie Lumumba, yesterday confirmed that his boss would meet with the securocrats this week amid indications that the Financial Intelligence Unit, Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) and the Zimbabwe Republic Police would be roped in to play a key role in sniffing out the “economic saboteurs”.

Mutumanje told NewsDay that it has since been established that top RBZ officials were fuelling the mess on the
market and would soon be placed under surveillance.

“The minister is receiving briefs, yes, and will meet them (security sector) this week. The minister is committed to arresting the situation and the security agencies have narrowed down the source of the criminal activities. It’s clear we have dirty hands collaborating with government officials and it’s only a matter of time now before government shuts down the aggressive influence of the black market and clean up errant government complicity,” he said.

He added that the level at which RBZ had been “captured” by the suspected saboteurs required the intervention of the security sector, as Ncube would not be able to execute the job alone.

“There are directors at RBZ, especially, who are holding industry captive. The corruption at director level of the RBZ is pure poison and there is no single business that doesn’t know that the directors are out of control. RBZ has been captured and the governor will need security sector support to clean that up,” he said.

Mutumanje said Ncube would release a statement over the crisis later.

The government dragnet is also reportedly targeting top politicians working in cahoots with officials at the central bank

The move comes as new taxes gazetted by government, uncontrollable price escalations and fuel shortages had all coalesced to create a sense of anger and despondency among citizens, who believe they are being punished for government’s unjustified profligacy.

Since the July 30 harmonised elections, the economy has taken a nosedive, with critics questioning President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ability to deal with the crisis.

Already, some retailers have either closed shop or hiked prices of most goods, while others have resorted to a multi-tier pricing system to stay afloat.

Mnangagwa last week claimed that the crisis was being triggered by an intricate network of currency speculators, mostly in high places, and tasked Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi to urgently craft tough policies and penalties targeted at illegal foreign currency dealers.

However, the opposition and political analysts said the move by Mnangagwa to come up with tough measures to deal with the crisis were unlikely to pay dividends.

Economist Eddie Cross said the move would unlikely produce intended results.

“The fundamental problem is that we have created opportunities for money vultures and we need to correct the policy environment and the only way to do it is to liberalise as (former Finance minister Patrick) Chinamasa did in 2009,” Cross said, adding that at the moment, the artificial rates would be difficult to deal with.

Political analyst Dewa Mavhinga said there was need for the government to now walk the talk, as Zimbabweans were fast losing confidence in the system.

“Currency manipulators are linked closely to those in power. Most are mere runners for the political elite. Mnangagwa should just act and not make promises that will remain unfulfilled,” he said.

Another analyst, Rejoice Ngwenya, questioned the sincerity of the government in dealing with the crisis.

“In the first place, there are laws already to deal with the issue. First, there is no such thing as foreign currency in Zimbabwe because multi-currencies are legal since 2009. Secondly, the Banking Act controls who buys and sells money, registered finance institutions, not street vendors,” he said.

MDC’s Tapiwa Mashakada said the State was the culprit in the crisis.

“The culprit is the State itself. Who is supplying brand new bond notes to currency dealers on the streets of Harare? Why are these dealers not arrested and why is government keen on keeping the bond note in circulation? These issues cannot be addressed by legislation, but by policy,” he said.

Another political analyst, Richard Mahomva, said the matter needed commitment from all stakeholders to succeed.

“There is need for absolute bureaucratic commitment to dealing with this matter other than having to compel an entire President to intervene over what financial administrators could have handled. Did we have to wait for this crisis to escalate, yet in this age of digital banking, we could easily trace the source of illicit financial flows?” he asked.

However, MDC-T vice-president Obert Gutu said there was need to clamp down on illegal parallel money market dealings.

He said Mnangagwa had to be tough to save the economy from total collapse at the hands of unscrupulous currency manipulators, citing Rwandan President Paul Kagame’s effective and successful stance against corruption in the East African country.

Gutu said people must not hide behind human rights mantra.

“Do people eat human rights laws written in a statute book somewhere? People eat food and not some fancy Western-styled model of human rights. Mnangagwa has to get at these thieves and deal them a sucker punch. This is not time for playing around,” he said.

“The majority of Zimbabweans are suffering as a direct result of these selfish and corrupt currency manipulators.
These people deserve absolutely no mercy. Let them cry out and allege that their so-called human rights are being trampled upon, but then who cares as long as the living conditions of the majority of Zimbabweans are going to be improved?”

Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga weighed in, saying those seeking to profiteer from the current economic situation by arbitrarily increasing prices of basic goods would be dealt with.

“I want to make this clear. There are those who think they have an opportunity, they are wasting their time,” he told a family function at his rural home in Wedza yesterday.

“We are solving that, and they will be ashamed. We do not want people to take this nation for granted. It came after bloodshed. It is pointless to note that my pocket is full yet others have nothing. It is pointless that others are in poverty, while you are full. So we will build the nation all of us so that we have a Zimbabwe that we all want.”


  1. Comment…all these economist are ignorant they don’t have answers. The problem is not money changers but the problem is shortages of forex in the country .the answer is we must export more than import everything and flood the forex in banks no one will change money in street than crying for symptoms and ignore real problem

    • Mugabe and Zanypoof, excelled at this ,the CIO were themselves in charge of the currency sales while Bob printed more and more worthless zimdollars and kept all the forex for him and his cronies…maybe PFEEEE is missing out ?

    • KK I tend to agree with you. Lets go back to the fields and produce those which we can export such a flowers, soya bean etc then the forex will flow in. These arrests and taxes will not solve our problems. in 2008 the money changers vanished over night, were they all arrested?

    • no amount of threats are grandstanding will solve the foreign currency situation in the country…zimbabwe needs forex which is not available in the open market which is ridiculously pegged to a pseudo incovertible currency…

  2. That is a very good move which was long overdue. This is the time to sweep the whole system clean. You need to target the whole banking system and munhu ngaadzingwe basa zvese nekusungwa. Murambwi, iri ndiro rimwe bhora musango ramanga muchiregera richienderera mberi. If comon sense serves me well, we do not need to borrow money, we can lend instead. To those speaking against the move, tell me one thing, does the money in the central bank not belong to nation already? Why then does the money has to be sold? Shumba itai zvekuruma chaizvo. These were the very people who were against you taking over the leadership of the nation.

  3. Comment…who bring bond notes and rtgs in circulation is gvt but ppl told you that you create black market which was killed by introducing mult currency system .as long bond notes and rtgs money they will be money changers bcz if I get forex where can change it gvt must introduce bareu de change as an alternate and liberate exchange control like south africa and other countries kwete kungovukura

  4. His spokesperson is Lumumba, that is a joke …yes…/…no? Seriously how can we trust what the minister says now?

  5. Comment…Dambudziko ratinaro nderokuti muZimbabwe FOREX inouya nekutenga pamusika panekuti iwuye nekutengesa zvirimwa nezvigadzirwa. Muno tinogadzira BOND NOTES akawandisisa kuti titenge FOREX. Ndizvo here? Parizvino toda kupedza nguva nekusunga varikutengesa mari mumigwagwa. Ko mabhanga arikuburitsa mari achiisa mumigwagwa izvo zvisiri pamurawo arikuitweyi? Mari irikubva kumabhanga ichiiskwa mumigwagwa. Haisi kubva mumigwagwa ichiiskwa mumigwagwa. Rapayi ronda, ripore kuitira kudzivirira kurumwa nenhunzi. Kwete kudzivirira kurumwa nenhunzi nekutenga mushonga wekuuraya nhunzi. Sungayi mabhanga arikukonzera HUWORI. Toziva kuti Mutemo urikuti munhu anobvumirwa kutora $30. Zvisineyi asina chayichatenga mazuva ano. Asi zvirikunzi vamwe vashandi vemumabhanga varikuburitsa maUS$3000 voisa mumabhanga emumigwagwa. Ndovimba pachaitwa wongororo dzakakwana, uye potorwa matanho chayiwo ekupedza matambudziko aya. Uyezve mari yakaburitswa munyika zvisiri pamutemo paUS$3b kwakadzoka mariyi, kwasara mari? Ndeapi matanho arikutorwa pane avo vasati vadzora?

  6. It was the sponsoring of zanupf election campaign that made the deficit to sore from 2,7 billion in November last year to 9,7 billion before November this year. Those directors alluded to in the article will not be touched – they know too much and will spill the beans if arrested, only a few ‘runners’ will be sacrificed.

  7. Iyi nyaya yave nenguva with a lot of procrastination. By this time I thought we were supposed to be seeing action rather than articles. Nyaya iyi yauraya ruzhinji.

  8. What a waste of time, these dunderheads can’t even realise that the CIOs themselves will soon be doing the black market trading like what happened last time. The simple solution is to dump the bond note & adopt the rand, how many times must Chamisa tell you

      • that could be a solution but its not as easy as you think my dear friend if we are to adopt the rand they should also be a back up currency which should be recognized in the both international and national community and the only currencies are the American dollar and the pound sterling with no benefit of doubt Britain wont accept that leaving us with one option that’s America and they don’t trust the hands of the current government

    • Easier said than done. Every football supporter has a winning team and formula for his team if it is beaten. Food for thought!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Yes, go after these money changers at RBZ. Chiremba, Saburi, Mpofu, and others made huge harvests during Gono’s tenure and for them its harvets time once again. Mbavha ikaba ikasasungwa inodzokazve!

  10. AS if the CIO as powers of arrest what nonsense, the culprits are known,laws to charge then already enacted evidence plenty why not just arrest them besides if they really wanted to arrest them why publish it first arrest like you did Parirenyatwa and others without going to papers this is just spin doctoring and a useless spin utter rubbish

  11. Comment…You dont just adopt the rand but apply to join and be allowed to use it after meeting certain strigent conditions. The major condition is our economy must vibrant whereby exports are more than imports, industries must produce and farms must be export-oriented. Its alleged that ED’s son is the epicentre of cash barons and dont expect any change.

    • You are more than right Anonymous. You don’t just walk into a currency zone or union uchirembedza/ulengisa like you are entering your bedroom. You got to bring your own transactional value into it.

  12. yes, I vividly remember some CIO guys being dealers & moving around with piles of Zim dollars in their vehicles back in 2008, oh how history repeats itself

  13. Why are we being promised that people WILL be arrested? What is stopping the arrests from taking place NOW? Since when do police promise to arrest people? Are the links of these “senior” crooked people perhaps leading directly to the highest office in the land????? I wonder.

    • I
      Whenever you hear the so-called state president and the police sounding out an alert to criminals in the press, then you know that it’s the very powers that be that form the epicentre of the crime

  14. Why do some people have a propensity to criticise everything and anything? The issue hear is very clear and straightfoward. The fact that the president said what he said makes one fact very clear: There is a very serious unfolding scandal in the whole financial system and Ed is clearly determined to deal with the scourge. Remember John Mangundya was installed governor during the previous adminsration and comon sense should tell you he was surrounded by untouchable surbordinates more powerfull and more influencial. Heads must roll as soon as possible. VaMnangagwa, ndapota hangu, musadzore tsvimbo, dzikisai gejo zvazviri. If you leave those people to continue with the rote, you will need a miracle to make it in 2023.

  15. Zim is a SH!THOLE country becoz of black leadership. Blacks do not know how to run a country. Since 1980, nothing meaningful to show except to lie, loot and kill. Smith ruled Rhodesia under sanctions and the economy was doing well. BLACKS ARE LAZY, INCOMPETENT, MYOPIC, CORRUPT.

  16. This would not happen in a CIVILISED country just shows the contiuned UNCIVILISED tactics to protect the real culprits no wonder

  17. The truth about any vice which is allowed to operate and thrive in any environment, is that it will have powerfull people and protectors behind it. Try selling Bronco without a senior police protecting you, you will be muCentral before i hit send. The world over, its known drug cartels, prostitution rings, forex dealers operate with protection of politicians and police. So, we already we know this is nothing but a smokescreen.

  18. When I saw the headline I thought I would see the picture of the minister of home affairs or state security or someone serious, instead the ‘state’ that is being referred to here is Acie Lumumba! What a joke of a country Zim has become

  19. I take the USD to any corner of the world and it will be accepted. I take the Bond Note to Bhola Hardware it is not acceptable as a means of payment. How can the two currencies possibly be equal in value?

  20. Trying to control what they don’t have,funny government.interesting they are the majority in parliament, no one blame for total failure.kakatai macomrades kkkkk.

  21. But I thought being a country that uses a basket of multi currencies, how come it appears like its now illegal to use the USD?

  22. Comment…Mudhorobha reHarare zvanzi avo vanotengesa mari mumigwagwa vangavachisungwa nhasi zvekuti mumigwagwa mangamusina kana nomumwe zvake. Zvisineyi musarove muskwe, asi kuti musoro. Nekuti mari dzirikutengeskwa idzi dzirikubva kumabhanga. Nekudaro mabhanga ose arikutenga mari pamusika mutema anofanirwa kusungwa uye otorerwa marizinesi. Kana iri RBZ yasungwa vaMangudya nevamwe vavo ngavayende kumba vasina mudyandigire. VaNcube sungayi HOZHERI, Uye zivisayiwo nyika kuti paUS$3b yakaburitswa zvisiri pamutemo kwadzoka mari. Avo vasati vadzora matanho api arikutorwa. Avo vasirikuisa isa mari
    kumabhanga vachaitwa seyi? Chinese, Nigerians, Congolese neRwandese vane zvitoro muno ngavavhure makambani ekugadzira
    zvinhu. Kwete kuunza zvinhu zvekutengesa kubva kunyika dzavo. Zvadaro voendesa mari kunyika dzavo. Nekuti ndozvimwe zvinokonzera kuti mari inyanye kusafamba zvakanaka.

  23. Whoever appointed Acie Lumumba needs to have his head checked. Have we become a country of such clowns. If indeed Dr Ncube made this appointment then I have lost respect for him. How on earth really did he make this appointment. Is he not rushing his decisions? Did he not need to take time to acclimatise? Is he not trying too hard?

  24. Comment…Pane kuti mutapudze mari inoshandiskwa neHurumende mototutsira. Hazvikurwadzeyika anditi irikungouya yega kubva pama 2c. ESAP pull up your stockings and tighten up your belts. Nguva mazero, failure is not an option. Nhasi hanzi tigadzirire kutakura mutoro unorema. Ivimbiso dzenhava dzizere mhepo chete. Guma tafa mukwidza chete.

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