HARARE — Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said Zimbabwe will retain the multiple-currency regime for the foreseeable future as part of measures to ensure financial stability.
Zimbabwe is using the United States dollar, South African rand and Botswana pula, among other currencies, in the market after the collapse of the local currency during the 2008-2009 hyper-inflation.
Chinamasa was credited for introducing the multiple-currency regime in his brief tenure as acting Finance minister in the first few months of 2009.
But critics have dismissed this as untrue, pointing out that Zanu PF only formalised the multiple-currency system.
Though leaders of the ruling party, no less than President Robert Mugabe, have repeatedly bemoaned lack of the country’s own currency, analysts say the government will not risk re- introducing the Zimbabwe dollar in which most Zimbabweans have lost their trust.
“In order to dispel any doubts on the market, I came back home to maintain the multiple-currency regime,” Chinamasa said.
“It will be with us. It will remain with us for an indefinite period.”
Zanu PF, at its annual conferences since the formation of the inclusive government that ended in July, resolved that the Zimdollar should be resuscitated.
Mugabe, in the run-up to the July 31 election, also vigorously called for the return of the local currency.
Zimbabwe’s economy only started to pick up after the multiple-currency regime was adopted and an inclusive government was formed in 2009, after almost a decade of decline, ruining a formerly prosperous country known as the “bread basket of Africa”.
However, the growth has been slowed since 2011.
The government predicts that the economy will expand by merely 3,4% this year.