BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA/ BLESSED MHLANGA/ANDREW KUNAMBURA
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday said Zimbabwe will not revert to the multiple-currency regime despite ballooning inflation which has severely eroded the value of the local currency re-introduced in February this year.
Addressing delegates to the Zanu PF 18th annual national conference in Goromonzi, Mnangagwa said the re-introduction of the local currency had helped stabilise the economy and would make Zimbabwean products and services competitive on the global market.
“Our 2020 (national) budget is thus aimed at stimulating higher productivity, growth and job creation. No progressive nation can develop without its own currency. The introduction of our currency will undoubtedly enhance our economic stability, growth and competitiveness,” Mnangagwa said.
“We will not revert to the multi-currency.”
He said government was currently working to improve cash circulation to make it easily accessible to the transacting public.
“Measures have been put in place to ensure adequate cash supply to our populace,” Mnangagwa said, adding that his administration would continue to deploy police to arrest illegal foreign currency dealers in the country’s major towns and cities.
“The law enforcement agents will move in to deal with those who are hoarding cash and causing artificial shortages of cash. The illegal trading in foreign currency must be stopped in line with our laws. It is incumbent upon all citizens of our great country and party members in particular to protect and defend our currency as a symbol of national sovereignty and pride,” Mnangagwa said.
He added that government would introduce measures aimed at cushioning poor citizens from high prices of basic commodities.
“We remain concerned at the prevailing high prices charged by some of our retailers for basic commodities. As government, we will continue to put in place social safety nets to cushion the vulnerable members of our society such as subsidised mealie-meal, Zupco buses for transport and the removal of duty on selected food commodities,” said the Zanu PF leader, who was catapulted to the hot seat following the ouster of his late mentor Robert Mugabe in November 2017.
“Retailers should not sell subsidised basic commodities in bulk to ensure equitable access to the products by vulnerable communities.”
Mnangagwa also said government would continue to give civil servants cushioning allowances in the face of harsh economic conditions.
“Government will continue to award its workers the cost of living adjustment. A once-off 50% payment to pensioners and their dependants will be made before the Christmas holidays to cushion our senior citizens,” he said.