Use of multi-currency exposes consumers — CCZ

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The Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) has challenged the government to endorse the use of a single currency to enable consumers to purchase goods and services at the same price levels and safeguard them against exchange rate distortions.

Bulawayo CCZ regional manager Comfort Muchekeza made the remarks during commemorations of the World Decent Work Day in Bulawayo last week.

He bemoaned the recent fall of the South African rand against the United States dollar.

“The government adopted the multi-currency system in principle, but if you look at its operations, the Budget is presented in US dollars which means in reality one currency controls the business here,” said Muchekeza.

He said the rand dominates business transactions in Bulawayo due to the region’s proximity to South Africa hence consumers are subjected to an unfair exchange rate by the business community which takes advantage of the loopholes in exchange controls.

“Government must adopt only one currency rather than purporting to be adopting multi-currency system yet only the US dollar is its main choice in all its transactions.” said Muchekeza.

“I have never heard the Minister of Finance presenting the National Budget in all the currencies said to be used in Zimbabwe but only in US dollars,” Muchekeza urged politicians to heed consumers’ concerns as they contributed to either their rise or downfall.

Consumers are more than Zanu PF. They are more than MDC and even more than the ZCTU members. All people are consumers and this is the organisation with the largest membership,” said Muchekeza.