BY Wisdom Mdzungairi
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has said the demise of the multi-currency payment system on Monday was indicative of the country’s new financial trajectory as it prepares to launch its own currency by year end.
The surprise move came a few days after Mnangagwa told journalists that the country would have a new currency by March 2020.
Speaking at the ongoing African Union-United Nations Wildlife Economy Summit in Victoria Falls yesterday, Mnangagwa said: “What I said in Mozambique was indicative of where we wanted to go. (And) what happened yesterday (on Monday) shows that Zimbabwe is back to normalcy by introducing its own currency. Our currency is denominated in coins, RTGS and bond notes.”
He admitted that the move would cause some confusion on the market in the first few days as the market adjusts to the new currency regime.
“The question should be: Are we doing the right thing or not? I think we are on the right path. If you see us doing what we’re doing, it means that fundamentals are already in place, or we are working towards that. We have not outlawed any currency. We have said if you want to trade in this country, use our local currency,” he said.
In a Government Gazette published on Monday, Finance minister Mthuli Ncube said the British pound, US dollar, South African rand, Botswana pula and any other foreign currency whatsoever shall no longer be legal tender alongside the Zimbabwe dollar in any local transaction.
Some business owners said the sudden change would result in goods disappearing from retail shops.
Critics say if the new measures were to stabilise the country’s economy, it would be good for the people, but they doubted that things were being done the right way.