A woman walks past the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe building in Harare, Zimbabwe March 1, 2024. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo/FILE PHOTO

HARARE, May 10 (Reuters) – Zimbabwe will fine businesses using inflated exchange rates as the government battles to maintain the value of its newly introduced gold-backed currency, the Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG).

Any business using an exchange rate higher than the official rate of 13.5 ZiG per U.S. dollar will be liable for a fine of 200,000 ZiG ($14,815), according to a government notice seen by Reuters.

Anyone offering “goods or services at an exchange rate above the prevailing interbank foreign currency selling rate” would be guilty of a civil infringement, read the notice, issued late on Thursday.

The government has been making efforts to keep the ZiG afloat since its launch in early April, with authorities launching a blitz on illegal foreign currency traders last month.

Some businesses such as supermarkets have been charging a premium above the market rate for customers paying in the new currency, while the ZiG is being rejected by informal traders.

Zimbabwe’s Treasury on Tuesday moved to enforce the use of the ZiG as the official unit of exchange for transactions.

This is Zimbabwe’s fourth attempt at having a local currency within a decade, with the southern African country dumping the Zimdollar last month after it lost 70% value since the start of the year.


(Reporting by Nyasha Chingono; Editing by Nellie Peyton and Ros Russell)