Khupe throws weight behind Mnangagwa’s currency policy but warns of protests

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By Costa Nkomo

MDC-T leader, Thokozani Khupe has thrown her weight behind a recent government ban on the multi-currency system but quickly warned of a citizen backlash if the new measures failed.

Government on Monday introduced Statutory Instrument (SI) 142 of 2019 which abolished a decade old multi-currency regime in which the country was using a basket of the world’s major currencies as legal tender following the collapse of the local dollar.

In a statement signed by party spokesperson Khalipani Phugeni on Wednesday, Khupe applauded the government’s swift approach to the crisis that had gripped the country.

“The struggles of earning an income in RTGS, in a US$ economy is not an exclusive burden of teachers but indeed of all Zimbabweans. In this regard, the government can be commended for having a listening ear and taking swift action in responding to the cries of our people,” Khupe said.

However, the former Deputy Prime Minister was somewhat cautious in her support for the move.

“Listening to Finance Minister (Mthuli) Ncube, one did not get the sense that there is a long term plan with a defined path to some end goal. But for the sake of our country, the hope is one is wrong and indeed the Minister has ‘struck gold’ through this policy change and the raft of measures yet to be announced,” the former Deputy Premier said.

Khupe however remains skeptical of SI 142/2019 predicting that there will be protests among locals as the new policy shift will likely push inflation further up.

“The few locally produced products will skyrocket beyond the reach of ordinary folks and the mischief which this policy shift seeks to curb will come back with a vengeance, which will be fertile fodder for our youths to fill the streets in protest of the hardships,” said the MDC-T leader.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa said the new policy had returned Zimbabwe to “normalcy” arguing his government must be applauded.