MPs push for Zim to ditch sinking local currency; tell Govt to face reality

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By Darlington Gatsi

PARLIAMENTARIANS have renewed calls for the government to dump the weakening local currency saying it has contributed to rising inflation, urging readoption of the USD.

The Zimbabwe dollar, which was readopted in 2020 after years of using foreign currency, has been on a freefall losing value against the greenback.

The Zimbabwe dollar is currently trading at US$1: 2 000, a breach which has led to a spike in retail prices.

With the majority of Zimbabwe’s working class earning in local currency, many have been hit hard by the high cost of basic commodities.

Wednesday, Independent Norton legislator, Temba Mliswa challenged the government to set aside the plummeting local currency.

Norton member of parliament Temba Mliswa

“A good example is, if the car is not performing well, we park it, we cannot force matters. It does not mean that the car is not functional but we are fixing it as we park it. When the car is now fixed and fully functional, we adopt it but we are being asked to have the RTGS competing with the USD; it is actually being comic. We must not play politics with reality.

“Let us search all the Ministers in the House to see how many people have United States Dollars. I have dollars also but do you have the local currency? As Ministers, they are paid in United States Dollars, that is what they are using and that is what has value. We are saying farmers should get money in RTGS that has value so that they are able to purchase inputs using money with value,” said Mliswa.

Desperate to salvage the local currency from abyss and tame inflation, the government last week introduced a raft of measures including wavering of  import duty on basic commodities.

During a post cabinet briefing recently, the government announced that it would crack the whip on businesses that are involved in unfair pricing of goods.

Ziyambi Ziyambi who is leader of government business in the national assembly shoved down Parliamentarians’ suggestions.

“Madam Speaker Ma’am, what I said before is, if you look at foreign currency; if we look at Botswana and Kenya, their currency is stable. We cannot throw away our own currency as a country. What we want is Hon. Mliswa and Hon. Biti to come and give their opinions on how we can strengthen our currency, not that he prefers Biden’s currency, that is not a solution,” said Ziyambi.