Zimbabwe News

ZACC, RBZ & ZRP to ensure schools accept ZiG

The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC), the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ)’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) have embarked on an operation to ensure that all schools accept the Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG) currency.

This follows reports that some schools are demanding tuition fees exclusively in foreign currency while refusing to accept ZiG, in clear violation of exchange control regulations.

About 80 per cent of transactions are in United States dollars, As a result, some schools are demanding up to 80 per cent of tuition fees in United States dollars and the rest in ZiG. The government said that too, is illegal.

Other schools are reportedly claiming that their accounting systems are yet to be configured to process ZiG payments, and those accepting ZiG are pegging fees using street rates.

According to The Sunday News, most Government and mission boarding schools have pegged their school fees at between US$300 and US$600 and some are requiring full payment upfront in foreign currency.

Schools accepting the local currency are pegging their fees at black market rates, which can be as high as US$1: ZiG22, instead of the official US$1:ZiG13.5.

Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education Permanent Secretary, Mr Moses Mhike said schools must accept payments in ZiG. He said:

As shared by the RBZ in their Monetary Policy Statement as monetary authorities, schools are obliged to accept ZiG as part of the multi-currency system that is operating in the country.

Therefore, school authorities are expected to abide by the pronouncement made by the RBZ in terms of the new currency that has been introduced.

It is not a matter of choice but to simply accept ZiG as legal tender, which is among the basket of other currencies.

Therefore, as usual, schools are expected to provide parents and guardians with all the payment modalities, like payment in cash, online transfers and swipe.

The ministry will be working with other Government agencies, including, ZACC, FIU, the police, as well as our school inspectors to ensure compliance with the use of the multi-currency system.

Any school heads who defy this directive will have disciplinary measures taken against them.

In a separate interview with The Sunday News, FIU director-general Oliver Chiperesa confirmed that they were receiving numerous complaints against schools. He said:

We are getting more and more complaints against schools. Some of them are refusing to accept ZiG altogether, while others are taking ZiG but using parallel market rates.

One school in Masvingo is limiting payment in ZiG to 20 per cent of the total fees while demanding the other 80 per cent in US dollars.

That is illegal. We are taking action against all the schools reported to us.

National Association of Secondary School Heads president Arthur Maphosa said:

As schools, we have not faced any challenges with ZiG and we have asked our members to accept it.

As an association, we have said parents and guardians should be given options to pay fees and not forced to pay exclusively in US dollars.

However, there will be instances where schools will need to negotiate with parents and guardians to ensure there is foreign currency to buy commodities such as fuel.

This will be negotiated with parents and again no one will be forced to pay fees in foreign currency so that these commodities are bought.

Since its introduction on 05 April 2024, ZiG has not been universally accepted, with the Government itself providing some services exclusively in United States dollars.

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