GOVERNMENT should just fully dollarise the economy as the current dual pricing system is not benefiting the country’s majority who get their salaries in local currency, a local economic development and policy research institute has said.
BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
In July this year, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe authorised the pricing of goods and services in both the Zimbabwe and the United States dollars on re-introduction of the interbank foreign currency auction system.
This came less than a year after the government in September 2019 published a statutory instrument outlawing the use of foreign currency in the pricing of goods and services.
The local currency has been taking a beating from inflationary shocks, leaving workers struggling to make ends meet as salaries remain stagnant while prices of goods and services skyrocket.
The Labour and Economic Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe (Ledriz) argued it is time the government fully dollarise to ensure the majority of the county’s workforce also benefits from the dual pricing system.
“What has happened now is that most businesses are now exclusively trading in foreign currency yet most people are still earning Zimdollars. It then becomes difficult for people to eke out a living when your income is in Zimbabwe dollars yet costs are in United States dollars,” Ledriz senior research economist Proper Chitambara said recently.
“The dual pricing system only benefits businesses and government, leaving out the majority who are earning in Zimbabwe dollars. The economy has to be dollarised.”
Doctors and nurses are on strike demanding salaries in US dollars. Teachers have vowed not to report for duty when schools reopen if government does not meet their demands for US dollar-denominated salaries. The same reads true for private businesses where employees are also demanding to be paid in foreign currency.Government, however, insists there is no going back to dollarisation.