By Darlington Gatsi
CITIZENS Coalition for Change leader, Nelson Chamisa, has slammed the introduction of gold coins, saying they are a conduit for corruption, and called for the country to return to exclusive use of the United States dollar.
Last month, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) injected gold coins onto the market in a desperate measure aimed at dealing with the ongoing economic instability caused by high inflation and depreciation of the local currency.
According to RBZ, the use of gold coins will aid in storing he value of investments and savings from the ravages of inflation that reared its ugly head during the 2008 hyperinflation era.
However, the main opposition leader said the midterm budget announced by Minister of Finance, Mthuli Ncube, falls short in addressing the challenges dogging the economy.
“There is just unrestrained indiscipline in Government upon rampant galloping corruption. The condoning of ZWL$ 107 billion for 2020 and 2019 fiscal years is testimony to this. The government has created distortions in the foreign currency markets and now gold coins, the havens for corruption.
“The recent Mid Term Budget review confirms that Zimbabwe is in a serious leadership crisis and citizens are exposed to extreme poverty and suffering.
“The following must be done immediately: Dollarisation, which will immediately eliminate distortions, forward pricing and multiple pricing. Restoration of the US$540 as a starting salary;” said Nelson Chamisa.
Zimbabwe’s economic woes continue, with the local currency falling to nearly 1000 against the greenback, renewing fears of the rise in cost of living for the ordinary citizens.
Nelson Chamisa predicted a bleak year for Zimbabwe if the economic fundamentals are not addressed.
“We face a major economic collapse and prospects of the bleakest Christmas season this year. USD:RTGS is now at 1:approx 800. The leadership failure is dramatic, gigantic and encyclopedic,” he said.
Renowned Economist, Professor Gift Mugano, echoed Chamisa’s sentiments, saying never a panacea to the currency challenges.
“The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is introducing gold coins with a view to providing an alternative vehicle which can be used to preserve value instead of the USD.
“Conventional wisdom tells us that gold coins are an investment asset which economic agents with surpluses can consider as part of their strategies to diversify their portfolios.
“Overall, the gold coins is a scheme for the elite and cronies for the regime which, like the auction system, will make them richer and richer while the generality of the population languishes in poverty.
“There are also challenges of divisibility when one miraculously buys gold coins – if you buy gold coins, say at US$1800 but urgently need U$5 to buy drugs, it will be difficult to meet this urgent need, yet the USD notes can do justice,” said Gift Mugano.