Former Finance Minister, Patrick Anthony Chinamasa, (P.A.C) has said that he thinks Zimbabwe should have continued printing the Zimbabwe dollar in 2008 even after losing its value due to hyperinflation. Chinamasa was speaking to the Sunday Mail in an interview to discuss the government’s ongoing currency reforms. He also added that the introduction of Statutory Instrument 142 of 2019 which outlawed the use of all foreign currencies for domestic transactions at the same time reintroducing the Zimbabwe dollar was a stroke of a genius.
Below are excerpts from the interview between Chinamasa (P.A.C.) and The Sunday Mail Deputy Editor, Lovemore Ranga Mataire, (L.R.M).
L.R.M: As the former Minister of Finance and the current finance secretary for ZANU-PF, do you think the country is pursuing the correct path with the recent introduction of a mono-currency regime?
P.A.C: Yes, I think we are going in the right direction. Let’s go back to 2008 during the hyperinflation period. Let’s not concern ourselves with what caused it because it’s now history. What is important is what killed it at that time. At that time, you know I was made Acting Finance Minister in January 2009. We formed a small committee because I realised that the country needed very strong measures to kill the hyperinflation and to implement those strong measures, there was need for political buy-in.
So we formed a committee, which included the current President who was the then Minister of Defence, the then Reserve Bank Governor, Cde Gideon Gono and Cdes (Constantino) Chiwenga, (George) Charamba, (Happyton) Bonyongwe, (Sydney) Sekeramayi and the Police Commissioner General (Augustine) Chihuri to map out the way forward.
We were sitting every day almost into the late hours and it was during those meetings that we came to the conclusion that the answer was to introduce a multi-currency basket to include all foreign exchange but more importantly the basket included the Zimbabwe dollar despite it having depreciated. My tenure was just one month then there was the formation of the inclusive Government.
Looking back, what I think was unfortunate was that the RBZ stopped printing the Zimbabwe dollar. I believe they should have continued regardless of what its value was relative to the other currencies in the basket. And I recall that kombi drivers continued to use it as change until they ran out of the notes and it went almost up to December.
More: The Sunday Mail