Zimbabwe’s central bank is investigating allegations of currency manipulation and pegging of prices at more than twice the official exchange rate.
A restaurant receipt circulated on social media linked to an outlet owned by Simbisa Brands, the largest fast-food operator in the country, is the focus of the Financial Intelligence Unit’s investigation. “Perpetrators shall be brought to book,” the central bank said Thursday in a Twitter post.
Warren Meares, the managing director at Simbisa Brands, declined to comment. John Mangudya, the central bank governor, didn’t immediately respond to calls to his mobile phone.
Zimbabwe Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube warned businesses that price their goods and services using black market rates will have operating licenses suspended. The tax revenue authority will carry out impromptu audits to quantify potential liabilities arising from illegal foreign-currency trading, he said.
The Zimbabwe dollar changes hands on the streets of Harare, the capital, for Z$170 per US dollar, while the official rate is Z$88.55. Its recent drop in value has fueled inflation, with businesses raising prices to hedge against the currency volatility.