Government suspends licenses of pharmacies violating exchange control directive
Nedvanji Munyaradzi Chiondegwa
The government has suspended or canceled the licences of 17 pharmacies found to have been charging their services using parallel market rates of between ZWL8 500 to ZWL 11 000 to USD.
The 17 pharmacies have been applying destabilizing forward pricing and speculation in outright violation of exchange control regulations and standing government policy guidelines with respect to pricing and the use of domestic currency.
This was revealed by a statement from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development yesterday afternoon.
The Ministry said the practice of forward pricing was rampant in the pharmaceutical sector but not limited there.
It said, “Ongoing investigations by the Financial Intelligence Unit have revealed that some pharmacies are using parallel market exchange rates ranging from between ZWL8 500 to ZWL11 000 against the USD, in complete violation of Government Policy and the country’s anti-money laundering regulations.”
It further revealed that the government has instituted measures that will result in the suspension and/or cancellation of the trading licenses of the offending pharmacies.
The pharmacies in violation are Blessed Pharmacy of Chegutu, Global, Leecare, and Pineal Pharmacy, all of Kadoma, Greenwood Pharmacy from Kwekwe. Gweru has Apex Pharmacist, Siegmed, and Booties. In Manicaland, Mediplus, Greenview, and Kaizen all of Rusape made the list. Mutare has six pharmacies which are; Necta Care, Lancaster, Murapi, Central, Grey, and Manica Pharmacy.
Government urged the transacting public to resist all forms of unfair pricing by retailers and to immediately report violations to the FIU.