The country should expect the reintroduction of a local currency before the end of the year, President Mnangagwa has said.
He said this while addressing Southlea Park residents in Harare after taking part in this month’s clean-up at Candy Shopping Centre.
“A currency is only printed by its owners and the only way to get it is through exports, Diaspora remittances or foreign investments, but as a country we should have our own currency and we have started that journey,” he said.
President Mnangagwa attributed the surge in prices of basic commodities to the absence of a local currency.
“This is happening because we do not have our own currency. The time will come soon when it would no longer be permissible to transact using the US dollar or the pound. You would be required to use our local currency. You will be informed about that currency and that would be the currency you will be using.”
He said this, among other various Government initiatives aimed at turning around the economy, would be realised by year-end.
“We adopted austerity measures to turn around the economy and create jobs. That is why we said Zimbabwe is open for business but not for abuse. No one, foreign or local, should expect to get rich at our expense,” he said.
“As Government we expect that by the end of the year most of the things I have talked about will be in place.”
President Mnangagwa had earlier said no country can develop without its own currency.
“There is no country that can develop without its own currency. South Africa has its own currency and when you go there with the US dollar or Euro you would have to convert it to the rand before you can transact,” he said.
“The same applies to Zambia, Botswana, Mozambique and the UK. A country cannot develop using other nation’s currency.”
The President said the multi-currency regime had been adopted as a temporary measure to deal with the hyper-inflation environment experienced between 2008 and 2009
“Between 2008 and 2009 our country’s currency lost value and some people became billionaires or trillionaires due to high inflation,” President Mnangagwa said.
“At the time Government decided to adopt the multi-currency regime where we started using, the US dollar, Rand, the British Pound or Pula for transacting. It was a policy measure to address the challenges that were being faced then. We however, cannot not continue going forward without our own currency.
Finance and Economic Development Minister Muthuli Ncube is on record saying the absence of local currency removed the capacity of the country to craft its monetary policy impacting negatively in the fight against inflation.
President Mnangagwa also urged people to remain peaceful and to desist from violence.
“What we want as Zimbabweans is unity and cordial relations among ourselves,” he said.
“What we do not want in the country is violence that cause destruction of property and deaths of people like what happened last year and in January this year. We do not want violent demonstrations.
“If there is any misguided individuals planning to engage in violent demonstrations let them know that we are ready to deal with them. We want peace, we want unity, we want love among our people, we must be united, we are one people. We must face our challenges as a people. We must leave a legacy, a heritage of peace to the coming generations not a heritage of violence.”
The MDC Alliance and its NGOs allies have threatened to unleash violence once again after the previous two incidences that resulted in the deaths of people and destruction of property worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.