PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday said his government would soon unveil new notes and coins to complete the cycle of the introduction of the new currency put in motion through the banning of the multi-currency system.
Speaking during his traditional national clean-up exercise in Mount Pleasant, Harare, Mnangagwa said the country did not, as yet, have its own currency despite having banned the use of the multi-currency regime.
“You know that on the aspect of currency, we banned the multi-currency regime and said we want our own money. We are yet to have our own currency, but we banned the other currencies,” he said.
“What we have left is the RTGS and swipe. In the future, money will come that will have our own features of Zimbabwe so that we can hold our heads high.”
Before the introduction of the new Zimbabwe notes and coins, the local currency is already taking a beating after Finance minister Mthuli Ncube in his Mid-term budget review on Thursday introduced measures that could trigger inflation.
Ncube increased prices of most government services and electricity tariffs, pushed up taxes on alcohol and fuel.
Mnangagwa acknowledged the downside of the economy, telling Zimbabweans that they should confront the hardships head-on.
“We have problems, but we must not avoid them. We are supposed to face them head-on. In that process, we have to go through hard times until we surmount those challenges,” he said.
In anticipation of the looming price hikes, the Zanu PF leader warned business people, saying he could soon introduce laws to arrest those who increase prices of their commodities, but failing to increase salaries of their workers.
“Prices in this country are just going up and going up, but the business owners, who are increasing prices, are not increasing salaries of their workers, who are selling their goods in the shops,” Mnangagwa said.
“What is happening to the money that you are taking from your consumers? Yesterday, the good was $3, today it’s $7, the next day, it’s up to $10. Have you done the same for the worker? No, you have not. Well, it’s good, we will see between me and you who has power. I have the law and I have handcuffs to arrest you. We will see who will arrest the other. We need laws to deal with this.”
Mnangagwa, facing threats of impeachment and demonstrations from the opposition, said he was doing everything within his power to improve the livelihoods of the general citizenry.
“Your government is doing all it can day in, day out so that we have a better life tomorrow. The journey is difficult, but where we are going, there is hope for good things. I think by the end of the year, we will remove austerity measures because things will be well,” he said.