GOVERNMENT originally wanted to use the multi-currency system alongside the now defunct Zimbabwean dollar and there are now fears that the introduction of bond notes could be a precursor to the introduction of the local currency, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa has said.
The revelation comes at a time bankers and ordinary Zimbabweans are calling for the government to adopt the rand as official anchor currency.
Chinamasa, however, this week ruled out the possibility of Zimbabwe joining the rand union on grounds the country’s primary objective is to have its own currency in the long term and control its destiny.
“If you go back to the budget that I presented in January of 2009, we had envisaged that the multi-currency regime would run parallel to the local currency and if you recall, even the kombi drivers continued to use our Zimdollar as change. Unfortunately, my management of the economy was short-lived and we then entered into an inclusive government,” he said.
“There was change of guard at Treasury, which then discontinued the local currency. From the moment, we adopted the multi-currency regime and stopped our own currency, liquidity was an inherent problem in the management of the economy because we have no control over the US dollar, rand or any of the other currencies.”
Chinamasa said the rand was not the answer to the liquidity crunch and cash shortages in the economy.
“For me it is not even under consideration. I would not go along with that. Like I told you, we are in this problem because the US dollar is appreciating and we have no control over it. We cannot have a system where we are beholden to currencies over which we have no control,” he said.
“We cannot just be victims and remain victims. If we go with the rand, what would we do if it continues to depreciate? What I don’t want is to adopt currencies increasingly, except in the context of the multicurrency regime.”
He, however, said the Zimbabwean dollar would only return when the macro-economic fundamentals are right. — Staff Writer.