Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor John Mangudya said that the central bank has cleared the nearly US$200 million ring-fenced foreign currency backlog on the auction system.
The backlog accumulated from bids allotted on the RBZ foreign currency auction but which it could not fund due to forex shortages.
Mangudya said the backlog was also caused by unscrupulous businesses that were sponsoring multiple bids under the auction system.
He said the apex bank was now working to ensure it is up to date on all allotted fresh bids. Said Mangudya:
All the balances, which were there before have been cleared, we are now working to ensure that we are current in terms of the forex auction laws.
However, Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) president, Kurai Matsheza, said although the RBZ had cleared the ring-fenced amount, some companies still had backlogs going back to December last year. He said:
When you bid at the auction system, that amount in Zimbabwe dollars is no longer available for working capital, so that is one challenge.
But also in terms of delays to allocations means you will also not be able to get what you had applied the money for, it may be raw materials or capital equipment.
Under normal circumstances, bids made on the auction system must be settled from the third day after approval and must be funded within a fortnight.
This has not been the case and the shortage of foreign currency on the formal market has pushed importers to the parallel market, fuelling exchange rate volatility.