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S1 142 won’t affect you, ZTA assures foreign tourists

By Albert Nxumalo

Foreign tourists have been assured that the recently announced financial measures banning the use of foreign currency in Zimbabwe would not negatively affect their visits but should make necessary arrangements with their banks before travelling to the Southern African country, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority has said.

On Monday, government in a shock move announced the multi-currency regime that had obtained for a decade would be abolished with immediate effect, designating the Zimbabwean Dollar as sole legal tender for all local transactions.
This caused panic in the market.
Zimbabwe formally adopted the U.S. dollar as its official currency in January 2009, when most Zimbabweans had already ditched the hyperinflation-wrecked Zimbabwe Dollar.

Tourism is a major foreign currency earner, racking in close to US$1.4 billion in 2018.

However, the tourism body in a statement seen as addressing international tourists, outlined an array of paying methods.

“The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority would like to assure all visitors to Zimbabwe that the recently promulgated Statutory Instrument 142 of 2019: Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (Legal Tender) Regulations, 2019 will not negatively affect the travelling public, specifically foreign visitors” it said in a statement.

“The regulations are meant for any transactions carried out within Zimbabwe, where it is now illegal to use foreign in hard cash. The legal tender shall be the Zimbabwe Dollar in both cash and electronic format”.

There was confusion since Monday with some banks refusing withdrawals from FCAs, while the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe insisted its measures only affected corporations and not individuals.

The confusion came after the RBZ issued Exchange Control Directive RU102/2019 in terms of the Exchange Control Regulation Statutory Instrument 109 of 1996, where it gave banks directives on how to handle Nostro FCA accounts.

Tourism authorities said any freely convertible foreign currencies remain acceptable in Zimbabwe such as credit cards Visa and Mastercard.

“Visitors are required to make the necessary arrangements with their banks before embarking on travel and when in the destination they need to look out for the logos of their respective credit cards.

” Please note that terms and conditions of the respective credit cards will apply and transactions are subject to the limits given by the banks. Service provider do have international credit card enable Point-of-Sale (POS) Machines. Visitors may also withdraw local cash from international credit card enabled Automated Teller Machines (ATM’s) of the different banks”.

Foreign cash may be exchanged at the bank, bureau-de-change or any other authorised foreign currency dealers at the prevailing bank rates, it added.

However, ZTA said visitors are encouraged to use plastic money and only exchange amounts of money in cash that they anticipate to use.

On widespread reports that the Zimbabwe Republic Police has been empowered to enforce “stop and search” on anyone suspected of possessing foreign currency, ZTA dismissed the reports.

“The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority has it from authoritative sources that reports circulating in certain sections of the social media purporting that police are authorised to stop and search people for foreign currency are untrue a

Foreign tourists have been assured that the recently announced financial measurers banning the use of foreign currency in Zimbabwe would not negatively affect their visits but should make necessary arrangements with their banks before travelling to the Southern African country, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority has said.

On Monday, government in a shock move announced the multi-currency regime that had obtained for a decade would be abolished with immediate effect, designating the Zimbabwean Dollar as sole legal tender for all local transactions.
This caused panic in the market.
Zimbabwe formally adopted the U.S. dollar as its official currency in January 2009, when most Zimbabweans had already ditched the hyperinflation-wrecked Zimbabwe Dollar.

Tourism is a major foreign currency earner, racking in close to US$1.4 billion in 2018.

However, the tourism body in a statement seen as addressing international tourists, outlined an array of paying methods.

“The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority would like to assure all visitors to Zimbabwe that the recently promulgated Statutory Instrument 142 of 2019: Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (Legal Tender) Regulations, 2019 will not negatively affect the travelling public, specifically foreign visitors” it said in a statement.

“The regulations are meant for any transactions carried out within Zimbabwe, where it is now illegal to use foreign in hard cash. The legal tender shall be the Zimbabwe Dollar in both cash and electronic format”.

There was confusion since Monday with some banks refusing withdrawals from FCAs, while the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe insisted its measures only affected corporations and not individuals.

The confusion came after the RBZ issued Exchange Control Directive RU102/2019 in terms of the Exchange Control Regulation Statutory Instrument 109 of 1996, where it gave banks directives on how to handle Nostro FCA accounts.

Tourism authorities said any freely convertible foreign currencies remain acceptable in Zimbabwe such as credit cards Visa and Mastercard.

“Visitors are required to make the necessary arrangements with their banks before embarking on travel and when in the destination they need to look out for the logos of their respective credit cards.

” Please note that terms and conditions of the respective credit cards will apply and transactions are subject to the limits given by the banks. Service provider do have international credit card enable Point-of-Sale (POS) Machines. Visitors may also withdraw local cash from international credit card enabled Automated Teller Machines (ATM’s) of the different banks”.

Foreign cash may be exchanged at the bank, bureau-de-change or any other authorised foreign currency dealers at the prevailing bank rates, it added.

However, ZTA said visitors are encouraged to use plastic money and only exchange amounts of money in cash that they anticipate to use.

On widespread reports that the Zimbabwe Republic Police has been empowered to enforce “stop and search” on anyone suspected of possessing foreign currency, ZTA dismissed the reports.

“The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority has it from authoritative sources that reports circulating in certain sections of the social media purporting that police are authorised to stop and search people for foreign currency are untrue and should be dismissed with the contempt they deserve”.

In 2018, an estimated 2.6 million international tourists arrived in Zimbabwe up from 2.4 million in 2017.

nd should be dismissed with the contempt they deserve”.

In 2018, an estimated 2.6 million international tourists arrived in Zimbabwe up from 2.4 million in 2017.

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