Government Warns Schools Over Charging Fees Exclusively In USD, Black Market Rates

by | May 1, 2024 | Business, Crime & Courts, Local News | 0 comments

Government Warns Schools Over Charging Fees Exclusively In USD, Black Market Rates

By Yvonne Mutambwa

The government has warned public and private schools charging school fees exclusively in United States dollars or pegging at street rates, that their accounts will be frozen.

With less than a week before the start of the 2024 school’s second term, reports suggest that some schools have pegged school fees in forex, with no option to pay while others are pegging fees at illegal black market rates.

Speaking to The Herald, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) director, Oliver Chiperesa said they are considering recommending that school heads be held personally liable when their schools violate exchange rate violations. Said Chiperesa:

“As we approach a new term, we are only now beginning to receive such complaints from parents. It’s only a handful of complaints to date but we are anticipating more as we move closer and closer to schools opening.

Our approach is to engage the school authorities first and foremost and almost always the schools immediately comply.”

Zimbabwe introduced the ZiG structured currency on 05 April 2024. The new currency is backed by gold and cash reserves. On Monday, 30 April, the official rate was US$1: 13.43.

Ministry of Primary and Secondary School spokesperson Taungana Ndoro said the Government’s policy on school fees payment had not changed. He said:

“In accordance with the Secretary’s Circular No. 10 of 2022, Government policy position is that school fees must be paid in Zimbabwean currency, which of course is now called ZIG.

No school, therefore, must force any parent to pay fees or levies exclusively in foreign currency since parents are free to pay in a currency of their choice, as Zimbabwe operates under a multi-currency regime.

If fees are pegged in foreign currency for value preservation, parents must pay school fees in local currency at the prevailing interbank rate of the day the transaction is made.”