TETE, MOZAMBIQUE– The administration in Angonia district in the northwestern Mozambican province of Tete has banned the use of various foreign currencies, notably the Malawian kwacha, for purchasing Mozambican goods.
The district administrator, Paulo Sebastiao, who has confirmed the ban on the use of the Malawian kwacha, told the media over the weekend that the measure was taken to safeguard the interests of local producers, “who receive kwachas, which are of low value, when compared with our own currency, the metical.
Sebastiao added that the buyers from neighbouring Malawi entered Mozambique, particularly Angonia, to purchase agricultural products. They entice our peasants with many kwacha notes which are worthless in comparison with our metical, and, because of their lack of knowledge, our producers end up receiving the foreign currency. We are reversing this situation because it is damaging our fellow citizens, he said.
He said the district government was training inspectors who have the task of raising awareness among producers near the border so that they know how to sell their produce such as maize, beans and potatoes for a proper price.
However, trading with kwachas along the border has been going on for decades, and is unlikely to stop just because of a government diktat. The border is highly porous, and if the district government inspectors make life difficult for farmers inside Mozambique, there is nothing to stop them simply walking over the border and selling their produce inside Malawi.
As for the supposed worthlessness of the kwacha, at Monday’s exchange rates, published by the Bank of Mozambique, there are about 86 meticais to one kwacha.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK