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Chinamasa: Govt departments at forefront of Rand rejection
11/06/2016 00:00:00
by UK Bureau
Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa
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FINANCE minister Patrick Chinamasa says he is surprised that government departments are also refusing to accept the South African Rand, adding measures would soon be taken to address the problem.

After Zimbabwe ditched its local Zim-dollar in 2009 and introduced a multi-currency regime, the Rand and the US dollar were the favourite options for locals.

But the volatility of the South African unit has seen it being rejected by shops and public transport operators who are now demanding payment only in the US dollar.

However, the American unit is now desperately short, forcing Zimbabweans to queue for hours at banks which have also limited daily withdrawals.

Chinamasa said it was unacceptable that government departments such as the ZRP, tax agency Zimra, roads authority Zinara as well as education and public health institutions were refusing other currencies.

“We cannot have our own Government systems rejecting the rand or other currencies at a time we are experiencing cash challenges,” he told the Sunday Mail.

“People really need to understand that we are not a US dollar economy, but we are a multiple currency economy, so we cannot have Government departments failing to lead from the front.”

The minister said the volatility of the South African Rand was not an acceptable reason for government departments to reject the currency.

“The talk about the volatility of the rand should not be an issue that should stop our departments from accepting it. This is where the RBZ comes in,” he said.

“I am going to speak with the RBZ Governor so that we can come up with an approach that is not complicated, but which can be easily made use of by people to transact in other currencies.

“There should be a system where tariffs are pegged in different currencies to facilitate easy payments when people can bring in money such as the rand, pula, euro and British pound.”

The central bank has said it will introduce bond notes in October to help mitigate the US dollar shortages in a move that has been received with widespread scepticism.

President Robert Mugabe told a meeting of the ruling Zanu PF that he expected the cash shortages to “end soon”.


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