Mnangagwa says new measures ‘soon’ to protect Z$ amid rapid devaluation

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PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa said the government will soon introduce measures to halt the rapid devaluation of the local currency.

The move would include “measures to increase confidence in the local unit,” Mnangagwa wrote in the opinion page of the state-run Sunday Mail.

“De-dollarisation will be managed carefully to avert disruptions,” the president said.

“This government is determined to continue with a tight fiscal policy to maintain the current surplus.”

The southern African country’s currency officially trades at Z$159.34 to the US dollar but changes hands in the streets of the capital for as much as Z$400 to the greenback.

Mnangagwa said he met with a team of experts “in the wake of last week’s exchange rate turbulences and upward movement in prices” to analyse and review the situation.

“Economies which earn far less than us by way of exports; import more than us; have larger a gross domestic product, requiring more imports; and with bigger populations are enjoying a more stable currency than we do,” he said.

Between 2009 and 2019, Zimbabwe’s economy was dollarized after hyperinflation led the government to print trillion-Zimbabwe-dollar notes before abandoning its currency, leaving the country’s name synonymous with economic malfunction.