Governor of the Reserve Bank, Dr John Mangudya has reportedly said that Zimbabweans have sold about US$8 million to banks in exchange for the local currency since the ban on the use of all foreign currencies for domestic transactions.
The government on 24 June introduced Statutory Instrument 142 of 2019 which reintroduced the Zimbabwe dollar and outlawed the use of all foreign currencies for domestic transactions.
Speaking at a breakfast meeting organised by the Daily News in collaboration with Business Times and ZiFM, Mangudya said:
Last Monday about US$800 000 was changed to local currency through the banks. About US$1 million was changed on Tuesday while US$1,7 million went through the banks on Wednesday. On Thursday and Friday, we saw US$2,9 million and US$1,5 million being changed into local currency respectively.
The government argues that the ban on all foreign currencies was a premeditated move meant to address pricing distortions and rising inflation.
The RBZ has since introduced a raft of measures which it says are meant to strengthen the new currency.
Critics are however pessimistic over the new currency. Some argue that the reintroduction of the Zimbabwe dollar was premature as there is still a deficit in consumer confidence and other fundamentals needed to sustain the currency.
Clearly, the new currency revives memories of 2008 when the original Zimbabwe dollar was ditched after a record high hyperinflation. This makes consumers hesitant in embracing the new currency.
If it succeeds, as the government says, the currency will be pivotal in resuscitating the long-stymied economy.
More: Business Times