Report by Farayi Machamire, in Victoria Falls
President Emmerson Mnangagwa says the move to outlaw United States Dollar and other foreign currencies as legal tender in Zimbabwe is a sign of the country returning to normalcy insisting that in the grand scheme of things “nothing has changed.”
Mnangagwa told journalists Tuesday morning on the sidelines of the AU-UN WildLife Economy Summit here that the fundamentals for bringing to an end the multi-currency regime and banning the use of foreign currencies in local transactions, are in place, if not, then goverment would not have moved the way it did.
“…Zimbabwe has gone back to normalcy,” he declared.
“And the normalcy is that a country must have its own currency. We were living in an abnormal situation and you will be the first to be congratulate us for becoming normal again.”
“What is critical is you only move when the fundamentals are correct, then we make a move…we have moved. Ukawona tofamba zvinenge zvagadzirika (if you see us moving the fundamentals will be in place),” he continued.
“Are we doing the right thing or not the right thing? I believe we are doing the right thing.”
Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe’s financial situation was abnormal and there was need to put the train back on the rails.
“…We have normalised our own domestic issues, right. We were living under an abnormal financial situation but we have normalised that. And we are moving forward,” he said .
He said government would soon roll out various programs to inform the public on the implications of the new regulations.
“In this transition there will be lot of confusion but we are so clear we will be having either workshops, pronouncements on radio on what actually we are doing,” Mnangagwa said.
On exchange rate questions Mnangagwa said:
“You are asking those questions because there is some confusion. There is no change. All what has changed is that we have removed the basket of currencies. That’s all.”
The move comes at a time the government on Monday declared the abolishment of the multi-currency system and re-introduction of the Zimbabwe dollar as the sole legal tender.
The RBZ has also increased the current interest rate from 15 percent to 50 percent in line with the inflation rate thus implying that those who had loans extended to them will now re-pay basing on the interbank rate.
Mnangagwa said government had not banned the possession of any other currency except that one can no-longer transact in shops.