HomeEditor's ChoicePolitical mistrust hits bond coins

Political mistrust hits bond coins

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THERE are mixed feelings over the recently-introduced bond coins with some businesses and citizens sceptical of government intentions.

Reports reaching us indicate some businesses are unwilling to accept the new currency as change which violates a section of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Act, the legislation used to introduce the coins last Thursday.

Citizens have all the right to be sceptical of the government because of previous bad experiences over losing whole life savings and entire pensions through hyperinflation and the demonetisation of the Zimbabwean dollar five years ago.

In Matabeleland and its hinterland there is general consensus the new coins are barely needed in this part of the country. The region has barely experienced shortages of coins due to easy availability of rand coins because of southern Zimbabwe’s proximity to South Africa.

While we have no problem with the bond coins, the reluctance by the generality of the population to embrace them is largely centred on political mistrust. The Zanu PF administration has a lot of work to rebuild trust with the citizenry, especially urbanites.

People doubt the government’s genuineness in dealing with the problem of change half a decade after the introduction of the multi-currency system in the country.

Although the administration has stated boldly it is not reintroducing the Zimbabwe dollar anytime soon, trust remains a big issue from a government which has its priorities upside down.

policy and economic analyst Butler Tambo
policy and economic analyst Butler Tambo

While it would be foolish for the administration to introduce the Zimbabwe dollar now, people’s fears are legitimate and sincere as the government is technically broke and might be forced to turn to the printing press to meet recurrent expenditure.

With its high appetite for un-budgeted expenditure, what can stop the administration from either ordering the import of more than the requisite $50 million that is bonded or simply minting the coins?

Policy and economic analyst Butler Tambo could be right that the introduction of bond coins by RBZ could be a sign that the Zimbabwe dollar might be brought back within the next 18 months.

The RBZ needs to undertake an aggressive public campaign to build trust as well as allay wild speculation in the market. Mind you, the introduction of the coins was shrouded in a veil of secrecy.

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