THE MDC-Alliance led by Morgan Tsvangirai will join the Rand Monetary Union (RMU) if it wins power in the 2018 general elections, as part of its cocktail of economic solutions to Zimbabwe.
BY PAIDAMOYO MUZULU
Tendai Biti, leader of People’s Democratic Party and former Finance minister, who is one of the leaders of the alliance, said Zimbabwe would do better economically by formally joining RMU.
The union is made up of South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland, where the countries’ currencies are directly pegged to the South African rand.
“In the mid-term, we contend that the government must join the Rand Monetary Union and must adopt the rand as the principal currency of exchange in Zimbabwe, as South Africa is already our biggest trading partner anyway,” Biti said.
Zimbabwe dollarised in 2009 and has been using a basket of currencies since, but the US dollar has become the preferred tender for exchange.
Biti said the long-term goal would be regional integration and use of a single currency like what happens in the euro zone.
“In the long term, the government must push for regional integration and the establishment of a monetary union in the Sadc and Comesa region. The regional currency in the new monetary union is Zimbabwe’s long-term currency,” he said.
The alliance, among other things, also proposes State-owned enterprises reform and finalisation of the land question.
“The reform of parastatals is long overdue, as it is necessary. We propose the rationalisation of State-owned enterprises through disposals and commercialisation,” Biti said.
He said most of the parastatals had become vehicles of patronage under Zanu PF and gave examples of the rot at Air Zimbabwe, Cold Storage Commission, Grain Marketing Board, Ziscosteel and Zimbabwe Development Bank.
The alliance, Biti said, would also look into industrialisation, re-engagement with the international community and resolution of the debt crisis, new mining laws and restoration of human dignity through setting up safety nets for the poor.