Former Deputy Prime Minister and leader of a splinter MDC group, Dr Thokozani Khupe, has said that the ongoing currency reforms do not exhibit a clearly defined longterm plan. Her remarks come after the government introduced Statutory Instrument 142 of 2019 which simultaneously banned the use of all foreign currencies for domestic use and also reintroduced the Zimbabwe dollar.
Khuphe said that Finance minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube, did not clearly state how “the raft of measures” the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe will introduce to sustain the mono currency regime will address the issue of potentially empty shelves. She noted further that the scarcity of the foreign currency will restain retailers’ efforts to restock since most basic goods come from beyond our borders. Through her spokesperson, Khaliphani Phugeni, Khuphe said:
The black market will inevitably return with the effect of eroding revenue collection by the State, and thereby destroy the State’s capacity to spend on social programmes, especially the social security net.
The few locally produced products will skyrocket beyond the reach of ordinary folks and the mischief which this policy shift seeks to curb, will come back with a vengeance, which will be fertile fodder for our youths to fill the streets in protest of the hardships.
The reintroduction of the Zimbabwe dollar revived horrifying memories of 2008 when the original Zimbabwe dollar was ditched following a record high hyperinflation. Shelves became empty overnight as the continuous shedding of the Zimbabwe dollar rendered business unsustainable.
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