LOCAL CURRENCY IN 12 MONTHS : MTHULI

Zimbabwe will have its own currency in 12 months, according to Finance Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube.

“On the issue of raising enough foreign currency to introduce the new currency, we are on our way already, give us months, not years,” he delegates at a “Road to Davos” townhall meeting held in the capital yesterday

“I also hear that the citizens are pushing towards adopting the rand, I even argued for it years ago and there was a reason, you know, if we are going to assume the rand as our currency we first of all have to acquire the rand and we need US dollars first to purchase the rand, in the long term Zimbabwe needs its own currency,” he said.

“Our job is to introduce a currency that will be stable and less volatile. Dealing with the fiscal side is the first order to move towards a stable currency, after all what we have now is fiscal policy and now monetary policy and we have to tighten the belt on the currency volatility.”

Adopting the United States dollar as the country’s sole legal tender is not the way to solve Zimbabwe’s macro-economic challenges, said Prof Ncube.

“The issue is shortage of forex with the corporates, the silver bullet is about currency reform, if we get that right the corporates can access foreign currency whenever they need it, the currency reform agenda is also impeding foreign investment, if investors cannot take their money out of the country then we cannot attract investors,” he said.

“A long term solution to the crisis is, currency reforms, currency reforms, and currency reforms; and ending arbitrage opportunities in the market, accepting the US dollar as the only legal tender is not currency reform, its submission.

“As a nation if we accept US dollar as our sole currency, then it means that we are afraid of currency reform and that’s capitulation.”

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