HARARE: The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) says it is finally working on an instrument to arrest cash dealers operating on the parallel market, where they are effectively controlling the economy with authorities literally folding their hands.

President Robert Mugabe on Monday threatened unspecified action against what he dubbed “economic saboteurs”, accusing them of causing last week’s shortages of fuel and basic commodities such as cooking oil.

In a phone interview with NewsDay on Monday, RBZ governor John Mangudya said the market indiscipline was too much, as witnessed by the panic buying that took place from mid last week into the weekend.

 “Enough is enough. We have to take action against the parallel market operators. We are currently working on an instrument which we hope will help us deal with these black market dealers. I think that maybe we need to engage the police to make some arrests,” he said.

“We have said it many times that there is a lot of market indiscipline. This is what is causing the panic buying in the shops because to us everything should be okay.”

Mangudya said that the real problem was production and would keep on stressing that point, as a rise in on manufactured goods would lead to better exports.

Over the past week, there have been shortages of basic commodities, namely, cooking oil which is an imported product and fuel which was due to a shortage of foreign currency.

 The shortage of foreign currency arose from an increased demand for cash which led to the shortages of some basic commodities and fuel akin to the hyperinflationary period of 2008. NEWSDAY