The Sunday News
Walter Mswazie in Masvingo
THE business community in Masvingo has implored the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) to expedite the re-introduction of the local currency to replace the bond note and maintain a blanket ban on the use of foreign currency.
The RBZ has said the country will soon have a new currency which will replace the bond note. Making a contribution during a Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) stakeholder meeting at a local hotel here last week, Hilthru Enterprises director Mr Benjamin Taguma Mazarire said it was not prudent for the country to use foreign currency especially the United States dollar. He said it was practically difficult to control inflation when the country was using foreign currency.
He, however, called for a strong policy formulation which will retain value of the local currency.
“I think we made a blunder when we accepted the use of the multi-currency system, especially the US dollar. We could not have embraced the use of this money because of its strength against other currencies. Our economy will not prosper if we keep on using a borrowed currency, as we do not have control over it. However, we need strong policies for the currency (local)to retain its value.”
Mr Mazarire said it was folly to believe that the use of the US dollar was stabilising economies, as events on the ground proved otherwise.
“We have this illusion that the US dollar makes the economy stabilise and yet the opposite is true. You can have a look at all the countries which have used this currency and realise that their economies were left struggling. The currency is too strong and we need to have futuristic plans than short term. We commend Government’s decision to outlaw the use of foreign currency because it is not helping us, as business,” he said.
ZNCC provincial vice-chairman Mr Nkulumani Mulambo said the foreign currency used in the country was mainly for consumptive purposes without focusing on industry.
“The money that we got, say between 2009 and 2013 was for consumptive purposes. If the foreign currency had been channelled towards the manufacturing industry, we could have achieved genuine stabilisation,” said Mr Mulambo.
The meeting was meant to map the way forward for the resuscitation of industry in Masvingo in support of the devolution concept being championed by President Mnangagwa. The initiative also dovetails with the country’s agenda of achieving upper-middle economy by 2030.