imbabwe will reintroduce its own currency, the Zimbabwean dollar, by the end of the year to make up for the lack of US dollars that has strangled its economy for years, Finance Minister Mtuli Ncube confirmed.
In 2009, Zimbabwe dropped its national currency in freefall, a victim of hyperinflation. Unable to stop the waltz of labels by devaluation, the regime of Robert Mugabe has replaced the US dollar and a basket of other currencies including the South African rand.
But the precious greenbacks have become increasingly rare, to the point of causing the economy to stop.
A project “already well advanced”
“On our efforts to gather enough foreign currency to launch our own motto, I would say that we have already made good progress,” said Friday evening Mtuli Ncube, quoted by the government daily The Herald. “You can count in months, not years,” he said.
In 2016, the government tried to remedy the flight of dollars by introducing bond notes, which are in principle of the same value as greenbacks. But, lacking the confidence of economic operators, their real value quickly fell and the operation failed.
Inflation and galloping shortages
Successor to Robert Mugabe at the end of 2017, Emmerson Mnangagwa has so far proved unable to redress the situation.
The situation has even deteriorated a little more since the recent introduction of a tax on electronic banking, intended to increase the revenue of the state, which has further accelerated the flight of dollars.
Inflation and shortages, including fuel and drugs, have resumed in recent weeks in the country’s capital, Harare, causing strikes in hospitals and public schools in particular.