Unmasking the people behind the black market : Who runs the black market in Zimbabwe ?
The government has always complained that their efforts to resuscitate the Zimbabwean Economy has always been nullified by the black market which is flooded by people involved in illegal dealing such as money changers and those who illegally provide and sell products. But the bigger question is "Who runs the black market in Zimbabwe?"
The Black market also associated with the informal sector was long known for unlawfully circulating other commodities like food, drugs machinery etc. But the nom has since changed, todays black market circulates money. Money has become a commodity in the black market. Major currencies on sale in the black market are United States Dollars, the South African Rand and the local Zimbabwean "currency" in the form of bond notes, ECOCASH, TELECASH or bank transfers. The government of Zimbabwe under President Emerson Munangagwa sees the black market as an illegal practise and a threat to their attempts to revive the Economy and they described it as "a threat to national security".
State security organization, chiefly the Zimbabwe Republic Police are responsible for dealing with such practices, but they seem to have failed or they are just choosing to turn a blind eye for one reason or the other. Walking in the streets of major cities and towns, you can evidently see men and women leaning against the walls, in day light, with large sums of money, RAND, bond and USD, yet there are several reports of cash crises in the country. Evidently, there are people who are running the black market behind the scenes, powerful people, connected and influential. The question that remains unanswered is “who are they?” I am going to give a list of possible groups of people running the black market without mentioning specific names.
The possibility is undeniable that banks themselves are running and fuelling the black market. The sources of huge sums of bond we see in the streets are banks, specifically the RBZ. According to an article that appeared on daily news in September 2017, banks were said to be pumping cash into the black market. But upon visiting the banks, you were told that there is no cash. If that is the case then it means banks actually fuelled the cash crises in Zimbabwe by releasing cash to the black market who in turn gave it to the people at a rate.
I just listed the banks as one of the suspects that run the black market but several times the Govenor has stood for them and said that the banks are clean of such practices. Now if this is the case then it places the bank officals/workers in the dish. Cash cannot just move out of the banks untraceably.
Just like what I have said previously, people who are running the black market behind the scenes, are a powerful people, connected and influential, that is why it is not easy for the police to arrest them. The most powerful people in this nation are political people mostly government officials. According to an article on TECHZIM, the RBZ admitted that influential people are running the black market, and has some evidence. The first thing to note is that while the police (ZRP) are busy chasing vendors in town, money changers remain untouched. The second thing is that if you have looked at the money changers closely or if you have known some like me, you may have noticed that they are struggling people even in their families or should you judge by their appearance. But then you ask yourself where they get so much money to sponsor their operations. The answer is that some work for these influential people at a commission while others by the cash from them from them. Most of these influential people are ministers, active or former.
Some people, for example the War Vets feel that the opposition are empowering the black market in order to use weak economy as a political weapon. Sounds possible, but knowing the opposition myself (Am not in opposition, I just Know it), they are in deep financial struggles, and for a political party to use this method it is bound to have a strong financial stamina.
While it is very true that the unemployed are also running the black market, I do not think they are the back bone of the black market. I however agree to some extent they are the ones who execute the operations of those big fish that fuel the black market.
In conclusion, I think the Security and Law enforcement departments must be practical and apply the law evenly. The law must not favour the powerful, the connected or the influential. No one must be law-proof no matter what their titles are.