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Withdraw Zimdollar from circulation

14 Feb 2024 at 19:25hrs | Views
GOOD day, President Emmerson Mnangagwa. Your Excellency, it is my conviction that the Zimdollar, all things considered, is a swine. It is the epitome of voodoo economics, based on implausible assumptions. It ought not have been reintroduced into circulation.

Amid the ongoing price crisis, in which the exchange rate and prices of commodities and services are spiking, probity points to the fact that it is imperative to withdraw the Zimdollar from circulation. It is an ill-fated surrogate currency, through and through.

Methinks the benefit of hindsight impels you to withdraw it without further ado. Its reintroduction lacked intuition. As a matter of fact, Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions secretary-general, Japhet Moyo was spot on when he underscored that workers were in trouble as their salaries could no longer match the galloping prices.

I reckon it is a preposterous projection that business will continue to grow this year and deliver a better quality of life for all Zimbabweans. As I see it, the report that government is determined to get on top of the price crisis without lording over business is wishful thinking.

It must not have been reintroduced into circulation before economic fundamentals for a sustainable currency were in place. It is indeed the irony of responsible leadership to blame the crisis on businesses that are said to be manipulating the said value of the Zimdollar.

Reports that government, through the Financial Intelligence Unit deployed teams around the country on a goose chase as they  monitor the said illegal business practices. As a matter of fact, the deployment is bereft of intelligence.

Your Excellency, it is public knowledge that confidence in the Zimdollar is at rock-bottom. With lobola and the informal sector, including the second-hand clothes market now  dollarised, I state it unreservedly, that a listening President ought to have heard clearly about the volatility of the Zimdollar.

It is small wonder that the windfall you doled out, amid the absence of transparency and accountability, to High Court judges, ministers and parliamentarians was in foreign currency. I shudder to imagine their indignation had you paid them in the Zimdollar.

Even the Presidential awards to excelling State university students are also in hard currency. It was in similar vein that your Finance minister awarded a musician in US dollars. Yet, you are both inherently obligated to champion the use of the Zimdollar.

Your Excellency, endeavours to ramp up the viability of the Zimdollar are a futile undertaking. Its volatility was glaringly exposed following the death in the crib of the proclamation of some designated  fuel stations that were said to be accepting the Zimdollar.

Granted, the findings of the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency report that was released early last year confirmed that the economy was on a redollarisation path. It is propitious business sense that most  supermarkets are now dollarised.

Considering the volatility of the Zimdollar, no one in their functional senses would fault businesses that refuse to accept the volatile Zimdollar. Research findings that showed that 78% of transactions for food purchases were done in foreign currency are a pointer to the inevitable redundancy of the Zimdollar.

Your Excellency, there is credence in the call by Obert Masaraure, leader  of the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, for the economy to be fully dollarised. He stated that the workers deserved US dollar salaries for them to make ends meet.

His candid observation, "The local currency is only being used to steal from the hardworking workers, but the elite transact in US dollars," is food for thought. Speaking in an interview in April last year, Masaraure said, "To protect the workers and the majority of our working people, the economy should be fully dollarised."

His call for the withdrawal of the local currency from circulation was echoed by the National Consumer Rights Association spokesperson Effie Ncube who said,  "The local currency must be abandoned. For a country that is importing a major part of basic commodities, amid poor industrial productivity, the exchange rate has a major role in driving up prices."

Your Excellency, ever since your re-introduction of the Zimbabwean currency in 2019, after a decade of dollarisation, the economy progressively went pear-shaped. It was apparent that some pushing and shoving would be inevitable as the stronger currency pushed out the weaker one.

His call to withdraw the Zimdollar from circulation is meritable. Methinks its reintroduction was for expediency, in violation of economic fundamentals. I  reckon it was apparent to all and sundry that the decision was motivated more by political self-centred considerations than national economic objectives.

It was effected with imprudence, at the expense of economic forethought. Despite being billed  to be at par with the US dollar, there emerged a perpetual volatility on the market that was fuelled by the exchange rates. It is small wonder that the Zimdollar capitulated.

It failed to stand its ground against foreign currencies, notably the US dollar. True to Murphy's law, if anything can possibly go wrong, it will go wrong, the volatility that the Zimdollar ignited on the market has left no precepts of a free market standing.

Consequently, the tsunamis of price hikes that were set in motion by the currency on the parallel market threw citizenry into dire poverty. Amid the erosion of the Zimbabwe currency, citizenry were confronted by all round price increases of basic goods and services

As a matter of fact, probity warrants that government's determination to get on top of the price crisis is achievable only by withdrawing the Zimdollar from circulation.

Your Excellency, as prices of commodities and services continue to rise sharply, there is order in the calĺs to withdraw the Zimdollar from circulation.

Source - newsday
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