By Anna Chibamu
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration has no plans of abandoning the local currency, the Zimbabwe dollar, despite repeated calls from various quarters to phase-out the currency, and save the country’s economy from total collapse.
This staunch position was made Wednesday by Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi while responding to answers from flustered opposition MPs who wanted to know why the government was insisting on the use of the highly devalued Zimbabwe dollar when some State-run institutions were now demanding payment in foreign currency only for services rendered.
However, Ziyambi said his government was working on making the Zimbabwe dollar the sole currency of trade in the country.
“Government has no desire to abandon the Zimbabwe dollar,” Ziyambi told the MPs.
Harare East MP and former Finance Minister Tendai Biti had asked Ziyambi who is the leader of government business in Parliament when Zimbabwe would officially dollarise and use the US currency to pay civil servants’ salaries.
“When is government going to pay people’s salaries in US$? We have vehicle licences being paid in foreign currency. Shops are refusing the bond note,” Biti said.
“When are you going to officially dollarise the civil servants’ salaries?”
However, Ziyambi was steadfast insisting Zimbabwe would not abandon its currency.
“When Covid-19 came upon us, there was pronouncement to use free funds. At no point will we entertain the abandonment of our currency,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ziyambi said he was not aware of the modalities to be used by the Treasury to pay all civil servants the promised Covid-19 US$75 per month allowance.
He was responding to a question by MDC Alliance MP for Mbizo, Settlement Chikwinya who wanted to know when the allowances announced last month would be paid the public servants.
“Yes, a position was taken on the payment of US$75 allowance per month for three months. I cannot give technical modalities detail. Maybe the Hon. Member could put that in writing so l can pass the message to the relevant ministry,” Ziyambi said in response.