THE country should expect the re-introduction of a local currency before the end of the year, President Mnangagwa said yesterday.
Addressing Southlea Park residents in Harare after taking part in this month’s clean-up campaign at Candy Shopping Centre, President Mnangagwa said no country can develop without it’s own currency.
“A currency is only printed by its owners and the only way to get it is through exports, diaspora remittances or foreign investments but as a country we should have our own currency and we have started that journey,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said the absence of a local currency was also causing the surge in prices of basic commodities.
“This is happening because we do not have our own currency. The time will come soon when it will no longer be permissible to transact using the US dollar or the pound. You will be required to use our local currency. You will be informed about that currency and that will be the currency you will be using,” he said.
The President said this, among other various Government initiatives aimed at turning around the economy, would be realised by year-end.
“We adopted austerity measures to turn around the economy and create jobs that is why we said Zimbabwe is open for business but not for abuse. No one, foreign or local, should expect to get rich at our expense,” he said.
“As Government we expect that by the end of the year most of the things I have talked about will be in place.”
President Mnangagwa had earlier said no country can develop without its own currency.
“There is no country that can develop without its own currency. South Africa has its own currency and when you go there with the US dollar or Euro you will have to convert it to the Rand before you can transact,” he said.
“The same applies to Zambia, Botswana, Mozambique and the United Kingdom. A country cannot develop using another nation’s currency.”
The President said the multi-currency regime had been adopted as a temporary measure to deal with the hyper-inflationary environment experienced between 2008 and 2009.
“Between 2008 and 2009, our country’s currency lost value and some people became billionaires or trillionaires due to high inflation,” President Mnangagwa said.
“At the time Government decided to adopt the multi-currency regime where we started using the US dollar, rand, the British pound or pula for transacting. It was a policy measure to address the challenges that were being faced then. We, however, cannot not continue going forward, without our own currency.
Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube is on record as saying the absence of a local currency has removed the capacity of the country to craft its monetary policy impacting negatively in the fight against inflation.
Writing in The Chronicle this week, Prof Ncube said: “We must regain control of our monetary and fiscal policy. Indeed, what we did on the first of October last year was to begin the process of restoring monetary policy as an additional tool to deal with macro-economic issues.
“It is a complicated matter, but crucial to understand. As long as we were pegged to the (US) dollar, we could not respond, or manage our monetary policy; inflation was out of our control. It is quite clear that we need to move towards having our own domestic unit account (currency) and the RTGS$ is the beginning of that”.
Meanwhile, President Mnangagwa has urged Zimbabweans to remain peaceful and to desist from violence.
“What we want as Zimbabweans is unity and cordial relations among ourselves,” he said while addressing Southlea Park residents .
“What we do not want in the country is violence that causes destruction of property and deaths of people like what happened last year and in January this year. We do not want violent demonstrations.
“If there is any misguided individuals planning to engage in violent demonstrations let them know that we are ready to deal with them. We want peace, we want unity, we want love among our people, we must be united, we are one people. We must face our challenges as a people. We must a legacy, a heritage of peace to the coming generations not a heritage of violence.”