Zimbabwe's President Mnangagwa promises new currency

Saturday June 8 2019

Zimbabwe currency

This file photo taken on November 28, 2016 shows a man holding bond notes released by the Reserve Bank Of Zimbabwe in Harare central business centre. PHOTO | WILFRED KAJESE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

AFP
By AFP
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HARARE,

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Friday promised to introduce a new national currency, 10 years after hyperinflation rendered the Zimbabwean dollar worthless.

The country has since used US dollars, the South African rand and, in recent years, two local quasi-currencies that have fallen sharply in value.

"A country cannot develop using other countries' currencies, without its own currency," Mr Mnangagwa said.

"As a country we should have our own currency. We have already started that journey."

RAPID WEAKENING

The President acknowledged that the two local quasi-currencies, called bond notes and RTGS, were weakening rapidly.

"You sleep today with the rate at one US dollars to five... and the next morning it's a one to six, one to seven, one to eight and so forth.

"And when they do that, the price of bread increases according to the exchange rate."

HYPERINFLATION

Zimbabwe's economy has been in ruins since hyperinflation peaked at 500 billion percent and wiped out savings under President Robert Mugabe.

It is undergoing another bout of price rises and shortages of fuel and daily essentials, with inflation currently more than 75 percent, putting basic goods beyond the reach of many Zimbabweans.

Mr Mnangagwa's efforts to attract investment and create jobs have floundered since he came to power in 2017.

He gave no timetable for the introduction of the new currency, saying simply, "you will be informed about it".