Govt to introduce new currency this week: Biti

BY XOLISANI NCUBE/FIDELITY MHLANGA

FORMER Finance minister Tendai Biti yesterday sensationally claimed that government was planning to reintroduce a local currency this week, describing the purported move as “pure undiluted insanity”.

But, Finance minister Mthuli Ncube and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor John Mangudya dismissed the claim as a hoax, saying government would continue using the multi-currency system until the necessary economic fundamentals were in place.

Posting on his Twitter handle, Biti said: “The regime will this week introduce a new Zimbabwe currency not backed by any reserves and without any structural reforms which are prerequisite of currency reform.

“That move is pure undiluted insanity. An unbanked currency is just the bond note by another name.”

Contacted for comment, Ncube shot down Biti’s post insisting that the environment was not yet ripe for the introduction of local currency.

“Well he (Biti) is not in government, but I always enjoy interacting with him. I think he is free to comment and also as a member of the opposition that is always welcome.
He keeps us on our toes. We have policy. We will do it [introducing Zimbabwean dollar] when we are ready. We have a game plan, roadmap. We do the needful when the conditions are right,” Ncube said.

“I cannot give a timeline. If you remember, I have always said by 12 months we should have done a lot in reforming our currency and monetary system.”

Mangudya said: “There is nothing like that. There is no comprehensive response as there is nothing to comment on.”

Biti’s social media post caused anxiety in the market, with the transacting public expressing fears of a repeat of the nightmares they endured in 2008 after the Zimbabwe dollar was eroded by hyperinflation and was eventually phased out.

Economist Gift Mugano said government should do more to improve exports if the proposed new currency is to survive.


“Our trade balances need to be improved, we need to have enough gold reserves as well as put in fiscal discipline measures. At the moment it is impossible to talk of a new currency within the next months. We need to have export-import cover of more than $6 billion so that we could have a healthy trade balance sheet,” Mugano said. Zimbabwe has been using the United States dollar as its base currency along with other currencies that include the South African rand, Botswana pula and the United Kingdom pound.

In 2016, government introduced a surrogate currency – the bond note – which authorities claim is at par with the US dollar, although it is performing badly on the parallel market, where the exchange hovers around 1:4.

7 Comments

  1. Haaaah dzimwe nyaya so

  2. shunguhadziurayi mangarayi

    I think biti should tell his constituency what he has done so far, since voted into office than make noise about someone’s job. After all the Finance Minister is a Professor who has worked for International Institutions where as biti was only appointed to hold a Finance portfolio during inclusive govt for the sake of being someone with the strong heart to steal not by qualification. He has a quarter gig in his brain that commands him to always say things which he is not supposed to say, but just to incite public disorder like he did during elections. Only fools can take biti seriously.

  3. Kana Biti akazvitaura chokwadi then MDC havasati vadzidza politics.

    With the rate they are falling for ZANU PF baits 2023 kure vachange wapera relevance wafana ava. I fish dzega dzega wafana ava.

    Allow me to give credit to whoever is responsible for such baits in ZANU Pf especially the Baba Jukwa bait of 2013 elections.

  4. Biti murwere haateedzwe

  5. Why does Tendai Biti want to cause panic among Zimbabweans. Minister of Finance Prof Ncube said Govt will only introduce the new currency when the economy stabilises, Tendai Biti is not even an employee in the Ministry of Finance he should not just waffle zvisina basa mhani

  6. Comment…nyararai apa ma Zanu boot licking,cevert cats!

  7. Biti likes people to give attention to him. He is the spokesperson of Zec and now he is speaking on behalf of government. When he speaks you cant help but notice his desperation for attention. The week will come to an end with no new currency. Wozoti kutii ipapo nhai Tendai?

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