New currency on the way – Cabinet

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By Costa Nkomo

GOVERNMENT is still working on a new currency set to be introduced as new legal tender in the next coming few months, a Cabinet Minister said Wednesday.

Acting Finance Minister Sithembiso Nyoni told a post-Cabinet media briefing in Harare that while the RTGS$ and bond notes are currently legal tender for all domestic transactions as pronounced by government early this week through Statutory Instrument (SI) 142 of 2019, government is working on the modalities of a proper currency.

Government this week reversed the use of the multi-currency regime that has been in place for the past 10 years and designated the Zimbabwean dollar as sole legal tender locally for the first time since implosion in 2008 at the height of the hyper-inflationary era.

Asked if the public must expect a new currency, Nyoni responded: “I think the answer is yes.

“The Minister of Finance (Mthuli Ncube) has announced that we are going to have (a currency). In fact, the President (Emmerson Mnangagwa) did announce when he was in Harare South (constituency) that we are working on having our own currency. We are working towards that.”

For months, Mnangagwa has been saying government will only introduce a new currency when the fundamentals were right.

However, early this week the Mnangagwa administration, in a bid to stem the chaos in the economy as the parallel market threatened to plunge the country into social upheaval, announced the dissolution of the multi-currency system adopted in 2009.

The move left the bond note, a surrogate currency introduced in 2016, to augment the use of the US dollar with backing from an Afrexim Bank loan as sole legal tender.

Nyoni added: “But for now the $RTGS/Bond note are the trading currencies. Our own currency is being worked on.”

Following the new measures, Mnangagwa called on the public to applaud his government for returning the country “to normalcy”.