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Whither our dearest ZiG?

Many are even wondering: Does this ZiG currency actually exist?

IT has been two weeks since the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) released the Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG) hard cash into the market, but it seems the currency is as elusive as the wind.

Many are even wondering: Does this ZiG currency actually exist?

Despite government pulling out all stops in making sure the “lusive” currency is accepted, ordinary Zimbabweans are having it rough out there trying to not only get hold of the new currency but to also transact using a means of exchange which is apparently being shunned by many.

The Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) is telling us that the new currency has actually brought more "misery" for consumers than what they faced prior to its introduction.

CCZ chief executive officer Rosemary Mpofu says consumers “are facing several challenges”, which have resulted in them “failing to easily accept the new currency”.

“These challenges have greatly impacted the acceptance of the new local currency by consumers in the country. It seems the new currency has brought us more challenges than those we faced before the introduction of the Zimbabwe Gold currency," she cried out.

Some of the challenges being faced include commuter transport operators refusing to accept the currency, opting to pair commuters on routes costing US$0,50 a trip for an individual because the transporters cannot access the ZiG currency to use as change.

“Sometimes we are forced to buy things that we do not want just for us not to leave our money with public transport operators. The same route that I used to travel using US$1, to and from, the price has doubled,” Mpofu has further mourned which has prompted some of us to ask: Whither our dearest ZiG given this difficult situation many people are facing?

Some have pointed out that the biggest challenge our new currency is facing is that the RBZ did not consult wide enough before introducing the money.

But fundamentally, the currency seems to have become a victim of a lingering curse that afflicted its predecessors that were badly mauled by inflation with the last victim, the Zimbabwe dollar having been buried early last month after surviving on life support for five years.

It is extremely worrying that we keep getting it wrong in terms of us trying to have our own currency.

Honestly, how can all the six currencies we have introduced in the past 20 years fail to gain acceptance by the general public who are supposed to be the beneficiaries?

We were told that the new money was more stable than its predecessors because it is backed by gold, foreign currency and other minerals, but what is happening now seems to be suggesting otherwise as guns are now being held to our heads to force us to use a currency which is not only difficult to get hold of, but is shunned when one gets hold of it.

Given the rate at which laws are being crafted to force people to accept the ZiG and given the resolute refusal by the many Zimbabweans to accept the new currency, we are afraid to say things could soon come to a head. 

Zimbabwe finds itself in yet another ridiculous bind whose solution, we admit, will be very difficult to find given that the country is currently economically in the quagmire.

At the rate at which things are coalescing into possible chaos, we really fear that soon we will be back in ancient times of barter trade because we won’t be having any currency to trade in because our local money seems diseased and it may soon be unwise to be seen holding or transacting in the United States dollar because you risk being arrested and be accused of being an illegal foreign currency dealer.

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