Zimbabwe cracks down on black market traders

Zimbabweans shop in a supermarket in the capital Harare May 4, 2010. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

More than 170 black market money dealers have been arrested in Zimbabwe in a campaign against currency trading that has inevitably caused a cash crunch in the Southern African country.

Currency trading is blamed for the rise in the price of imported goods in the country.

The arrests come days after the central bank suspended four top directors alleged to be involved in black market trading.

The top brass were exposed by a young communication strategist known as Acie Lumumba, who was fired just days after blowing the whistle on the central bank’s alleged involvement in the currency black market.

Lumumba, whose real name is William Mutumanje had claimed that there was a rift between Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangawa and Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga.

The strategist also threatened to expose a businessman allegedly financing the government, who he said was behind major cartels in the country.