Mugabe blocks rand adoption

FORMER Finance minister Tendai Biti has disclosed that President Robert Mugabe in 2010 blocked the use of the South African rand as the official currency, possibly for fear of being politically subservient to his South African counterpart, Jacob Zuma.


President Robert Mugabe
President Robert Mugabe

Addressing a financial markets conference in Harare yesterday, Biti said Mugabe rejected proposals to adopt the rand way back in July 2010, arguing: “Why should we use another person’s currency?”

Ironically, this was at a time Zimbabwe was already using the United States dollar and a basket of other currencies, including the South African rand.

“So I went to my principal on July 10, 2010, Mugabe, and said (I used to call him sekuru) ‘Sekuru (grandpa), I think this (rand adoption) is a good idea’, (we used to be good friends) but nationalism came in the way,” Biti revealed.

“The simple question from him was: ‘Why should we use another person’s currency?’ And I said but the United States dollar is another person’s currency and nationalism just came in the way.

“Part of our problem is that we have to understand the importance of transitioning from certain values. Nationalism liberated us, but it was never designed to run economies.”

Biti, who now leads the opposition People’s Democratic Party, was responding to comments by economist and scholar Ashok Chakravarti, who had questioned why the rand was not being adopted as the main currency to solve the country’s current cash shortages, amid reports that less than $250 million was currently in circulation.

Zimbabwe has been using a basket of nine currencies since 2009 to stem hyperinflation, with the US dollar being the main currency.

Biti’s disclosures somehow vindicate Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor John Mangudya, who both have been accused by analysts and currency watchers of frustrating the use of the rand.

In an interview with State broadcaster ZBC on the eve of his 93rd birthday in February, Mugabe claimed he had no idea why Zimbabweans were not using the rand.

“I don’t know why the Ministry of Finance, together with the RBZ, have not wanted to use other currencies. I have asked actually again and again kuti (that) why not euros, why not have yuan … why not have the rand alongside the dollar?

“At least, if we had the euro, I don’t think we have sanctions on the euro, but the euro is slightly more expensive than the dollar, but the difference is minimal,” he mused then.

Zimbabwe has been battling a cash crisis with analysts and business advocating the use of the rand to ease the shortages.

But Mangudya has been adamant that the rand will not be adopted as the main currency.

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  1. Misleading headline. This is 2010 news packaged as breaking news.

  2. John Mukuvisi

    This Biti chap is nothing more than a zanu pf guy. Judging by his comments from yesterday’s news story and his sentiments immediately after the 2013 elections he seems to be very fond of the old man. fair and fine it’s his choice to admire RG but he should stop misrepresenting to people that he’s opposition when in actual fact he’s zanu through and through. The best thing he can do is to join ZPF and shut up.

    1. The very least they could have done is write “blockED” instead of “blocks” … But then again they seem to be on a roll with these misleading headlines.

      1. josefa chinotimba

        Yes you are right there my friend.I have also noticed it that he flip flops like Jonathan Moyo.So what it means is that we need to be wary of him,he is very dangerous and cunning.

  3. bhora mugedhi , biti praising manifesto ye zanu, biti i zanu whats wrong to join the party that liberated us. Do not pretend to be opposition

  4. hapana nyaya apa…

  5. Where will the Rand printing plates stay?!

  6. stale news….Newsday(TATIRA ZWINOIRA) you have disappointed.

  7. Gonzo Mumwena

    Hapana chinobuda apa nyika iri kumawere chaiko

  8. We can adapt euro pond rand what ever but as long we have zanu in power nothing will improve instead more trouble will follow . So the solution is to have a new govt which is not zanu .In short zanu must go

  9. Nicholas Duma

    We are only in the state of confusion in this country, we are bankrupt of ideas.

  10. Is the Newsday now being run by hoodlums? The headline is not just misleading, but its enough proof that the level of professionalism by journalists is not just zero but non existence. Herald ne Sunday Mail zviritori nani.

  11. We are not financial/currency prostitutes….stay on the $ zvichanaka.

  12. pathetic headline

  13. what a pathetic stupid headline

  14. The market has found the rand to an unreliable currency compared to the dollar due its susceptibility to high fluctuations. But again Zimbos are very rigid, they are very resistant to change, look at how resistant they have been to using cashless transactions. An average employee does not need more than $200 cash in a month for their routine transactions.The majority of us earn less than $500 in a month. You can change currencies like underwear with no desired results because we are so fond sabotaging our selves.

  15. Newsday people please stop taking us for granted, how can you publish such an old story?

  16. Ini nhasi ndatochinja marands to dollars here in SA coz I rand is not stable zvachose. after all everyone is allowed to use it but most Zimbos dont have confidence in the rand. Dont blame anyone, use what you want

  17. Thi is bullshit

  18. Unless we wish to profess ignorance, lets not rush to criticize the writer without first understanding the whole ‘saga’ fully. This is a progressive action where Mugabe continues to block the rand up to now. There is nothing amiss with the headline. I welcome evidence to the contrary.

  19. Pythagoras-Run'anga.

    What the nation and the world at.large will always need is not common sense but correct sense. Otherwise it shall forever remain neutral and reverse gears on only. Rhetoric has never been the invention of correct sense. Until mazosunga dzinodhonza chaidzo pamberi pe chipani.(MATHMAN)

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