BY NDAMU SANDU IN ABIDJAN Ivory Coast
Dollarisation is Zimbabwe’s new normal, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor John Mangudya said yesterday, rebutting claims of the return of the banished local unit.
The Zimbabwean dollar was rejected by citizens in the hyperinflationary period of 2007 to 2008. It was officially banished when the country adopted a basket of multi-currencies in 2009.
Speaking to NewsDay on the sidelines of annual meetings of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Mangudya said calls for the return of the local unit were being made by people “trying to undermine the monetary authorities and the government”.
“It’s not called for as there is no basis for introducing the Zimbabwean dollar. We have said it many times that dollarisation is our new normal,” Mangudya said.
“We need to pray for such people to remove them from fear and the spirit of causing alarm and despondency.”
Mangudya’s comments come amid claims on social media that the banished local unit would be retrieved from the grave by 2016 and that printed notes were already warehoused at secret locations ready to be disbursed.
The claims say the introduction of the bond coins last year was to test the waters. Last year, RBZ introduced bond coins to help with change and ultimately lower prices.
The bond coins have managed to achieve that. The introduction of the multi-currencies is credited with stemming hyperinflation and laying the foundation of economic revival. Zimbabwe managed to come out of a 10-year recession. Experts say the use of multi-currencies has forced Zimbabwe to live within its means as it cannot resort to the printer to finance burgeoning needs –- the template used during the Zimbabwe dollar era.