Tobacco farmers, exporters to retain US$

The Chronicle

Harare Bureau
FOREIGN currency retention thresholds for exporters have not changed following the proclamation of Statutory Instrument 142 of 2019 that scrapped the multi-currency system and replaced it with a local currency, the Zimbabwe dollar.

This was said by Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor Dr John Mangudya in response to enquiries on the fate of foreign currency retention thresholds for exporters such as tobacco farmers and gold producers, among others, following Monday’s proclamation.

“Nothing has changed on the foreign currency retentions for all exporters including for tobacco growers.

“The same is true for Diaspora remittances, which can still be paid in cash or through nostro accounts,” said Dr Mangudya.

Under an agreement between the RBZ and the Tobacco industry Marketing Board at the beginning of the marketing season, tobacco farmers are entitled to 50 percent of their earnings in foreign currency deposited in their Nostro accounts while the remainder would be deposited into RTGS dollar accounts.

Small-scale tobacco farmers growing tobacco on two hectares and below are entitled to retain sales proceeds in their Nostro FCA for an indefinite period as free funds.

Large-scale tobacco growers with more than two hectares of the crop, are entitled to retain sales proceeds in their Nostro FCA for a period of 180 days, after which it would be offloaded onto the market at the ruling interbank market exchange rate.

Mining houses are allowed to retain 55 percent of their foreign currency earnings while manufacturers retain 80 percent of their proceeds.

Miners of “other minerals” retain 50 percent; tobacco and cotton merchants for input schemes (80 percent); cotton growers (30 percent) while horticulture, transport, and tourism retain 80 percent.

Meanwhile, Speaker of the National Assembly Advocate Mudenda yesterday stopped parliamentarians from debating Statutory Instrument 142 of 2019 after concurring with leader of Government business in the House, Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi, saying the SI needed to first go through the Parliamentary Legal Committee for scrutiny.

MDC Alliance vice president Mr Tendai Biti had raised a point of order arguing the SI was illegal since it sought to amend Section 44 (a) (ii) of the RBZ Act which established the multi-currency regime.

He argued that an SI could not amend a parent Act.

Earlier, Zanu PF’s Hwedza North legislator Cde David Musabayana had commended Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube for repealing the use of multiple currencies.

“There were a lot of distortions in the market because of the multi-currency regime.

“The return of the Zimbabwe dollar means the return of national sovereignty,” Cde Musabayana said.