Multi-currency ban, sangomas feel the pinch

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By Costa Nkomo

GOVERNMENT’s decision to adopt a mono-currency system last week after a decade of a multi-currency system dominated by the US$ has affected most people including traditional healers.

A snap survey carried out by however also showed that some people were happy with the drastic move.

One Leonard Gwarimbo, a traditional healer based in Epworth township, Harare said the introduction of Statutory Instrument (SI) 142 of 2019 had adversely affected his business.

“My clients are both local and from outside. As you know international people do not have bond notes. They can only pay in US dollars and if I say pay me in bond notes, they end up refusing to a deal with me.

“I am a traditional healer. I assist people and I have my own clients who have been paying in US dollars.  Business is difficult now,” said Gwarimbo in his traditional robes.

“The US dollar must be allowed to trade in our market. I think it was better than the bond note.”

Gwarimbo claims to have a “central locking system” in the form of supernatural solutions and herbs to stop spouses from straying out of their marital beds.

“We don’t know where this situation will take us…we are now living like slaves. The next thing they will arrest us,” the self proclaimed traditional healer said.

A retired teacher who declined to be named however said the government’s move to ban the multi-currency system was commendable as it was intended to get rid of abnormalities in the economy.

“You can’t have banks in every street, everywhere. All the streets flooding with money. You can’t run a country like that.

“Banks have no money, yet we see illegal money changers holding wads of cash on the pavements of some buildings in the city. Where have you seen such a situation? So, the policy is a good move,” he said.

In a shock move last week, government announced it was discontinuing a decade long multi-currency system in favour of the return to the Zimbabwean dollar as the sole legal tender for all domestic transactions.

However, government had indicated citizens can continue to earn and hold foreign currency accounts.