Zim currency crisis: Police arrest 170 black market money dealers, report says

At least 170 black market money dealers have reportedly been arrested in Zimbabwe, as the currency crisis persists in the southern African country.

According to BBC, police arrested the money dealers in a campaign against "currency trading, which they say has caused the prices of imported goods to rise".

Their arrest came just a few days after Zimbabwe's central bank suspended four top officials for allegedly fuelling the black market trade

The suspension came after a controversial former ruling party supporter, Acie Lumumba, levelled allegations against the four in a video posted on Facebook.

Lumumba alleged the four - Mirirai Chiremba, Norman Mataruka, Gresham Muradzikwa and Azvinandawa Saburi - were part of a cartel controlling the allocation of foreign currency and bond notes to traders on the black market, according to the state-run Herald newspaper.  

On Monday Central Bank Governor John Mangudya said the four would remain suspended for "an indefinite period to pave way for the investigations".

'Queen Bee'

"Once the investigations have been concluded, the public shall be advised of the outcome and appropriate corrective action to be taken," Mangudya said in a statement quoted by the Herald.

Lumumba claimed the four bank officials worked with a woman he only named as "the Queen Bee".

"Queen Bee has bought cars for the (top) guys at Zanu PF because she is struggling to capture (President Emmerson) Mnangagwa. So she decides to capture everyone else," he said, in quotes carried by NewsDay

Lumumba said this soon after he was appointed to head a communications task force by Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube.

Lumumba was, however, dismissed three days after his appointment.

Lumumba said on Facebook live this week that he was fired from his job because the finance minister believed he could be much "effective" outside of government.

"I understand why I was fired. I was fired for one reason and one reason only and that is because minister Ncube realised I would be more effective outside of government," Lumumba said.

"In the ministry I was limited, limited because I must liaise with permanent secretary. But now I can talk about what’s really going on without worrying about being fired. I am going to you some secrets about what’s really going on," Lumumba said.

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