By Alois Vinga
THE European Union (EU) has backed the economic stabilisation measures incepted by the government coupled with ongoing engagements on arrears clearance debt resolution saying such bold steps indicate a commitment to the betterment of Zimbabwe.
The remarks come against a background where Finance Minister, Mthuli Ncube enacted a raft of measures which include scrapping duty payments on all basic commodities imports, and banning government departments and related agencies from collecting their levies and fees in foreign currency.
The measures are in a bid to enforce widespread usage of the Zim dollar and save it from total collapse following a wave of depreciation on the parallel markets which saw rates deteriorating to US$1: ZWL 2 500.
Harare has also moved to introduce tokenized digital coins over and above the already existing gold coins to present an alternative investment option in a nation where past hyperinflation experiences continue to motivate the desire to acquire the scarce US$ in a bid to hedge against uncertainties.
The initiatives have been embraced with a sense of mixed feelings among locals whose experiences of the 2008 hyperinflationary era still remain vivid at the back of their minds.
But addressing delegates on the occasion to commemorate the belated Europe Day Friday, EU head of delegation to Zimbabwe, Jobst von Kirchmann commended the bold steps being taken through macro-economic interventions and arrears clearance.
“The measures taken last Thursday to stabilise the exchange rate and macro economy, represent another expression of commitment and of ownership of a sovereign country who lives up to the image that “only Zimbabweans know what is best for Zimbabwe.
“We want Zimbabwe to succeed in its vision 2030, and I believe that the high-level platform for arrears clearance and debt resolution, as initiated by the government, is a crucial component of this effort,” he said.
The top envoy said the platform (arrears clearance and debt resolution) includes on its agenda all current challenging topics: exchange rates, macroeconomic stability, good governance, and land issues.
“I would like to commend the government for their leadership and ownership of this initiative.
“From its own strategies and plans, the government is proposing to measure success according to international indicators that cover essential governance aspects, such as democratic elections, civil society space, freedom of expression, assembly, and association, as well as the impartiality of the judicial system, to name just a few,” von Kirchmann added.