The Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) fully embraces the introduction of the country’s own currency, the Zimbabwean dollar (Zimdollar) by the  Minister of Finance Mthuli Ncube and the support measures to stabilise the interbank foreign currency market by the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) John Mangudya through SI142 of 2019, the association’s president Denford Mutashu has said.

He discribed the introduction as a necessary move, adding that the country had to move on and embrace it’s own currency and have independence in monetary policy formulation and implementation with the RBZ playing the lender of last resort role in sync with the ongoing  fiscal policy reforms.

Mutashu has since urged retailers and wholesalers in the country to changeover forthwith and immediately abandon selling goods and services in US dollars or any foreign currency as it has been outlawed . Adding that non-compliance will attract unnecessary and unwanted attention to one’s brand by authorities.

“In pursuit of full compliance, the CZR  urges manufacturers,  millers , bakers, all suppliers and manufacturers and other service providers to comply with the law and stop forthwith demanding payment for goods and services from retailers, wholesalers and traders in foreign currency,” he in a press statement.

He further urged the RBZ to exercise restraint and prudence with the printing machine to safeguard the value of the Zimdollar while the Min of Finance should desist from inconsistent policy pronouncements that has dented trust and confidence in the past . “Further measures should be a product of continued consultations and engagement  while the inclusive approach is encouraged forthwith,” he added.

As mentioned by him, the introduction of the Zimdollar will further improve competetiveness and effort should be made to ensure importation of essential raw materials, capital goods, drugs and medicines,  fuel , energy and power, is not impeded or hamstrung by policy change over. The interbank should be fully operationalised and ensure companies that have to import, only out of necessity, will receive maxim support.

Mutashu called on the government to act on the forex parallel market and arrest not only the street boys as leap service but the financiers of that market. He said the good thing is that it is easy to arrest the dealers as all these tracks sections are electronic one way or the other.

“It is also critical to tame the rapid rise of informalization of the economy to eliminate distortions and the long arm of the law should also be capacitated to deal with the impending non-compliance in this sector,” said Mutashu; “There is need to quickly work on confidence building measures around the new currency and also deal with the political side of the economy by putting national interests ahead of our own personal aggrandisement  , egos and gains/benefits. Zimbabwe first.”

He also warned that CZR expects politically, economically connected people to stay away from the Zimdollar as this will create more cartels and corruption which will have a negative effect of dampening its value and confidence around it, and warned the businesses who have been reportedly removing goods from shelves are to desist from such malicious malpractice and comply with the law.

However, market watchers and economists have been warning that the re-introduction of the local currency that has since been done ignoring the key economic fundamentals is a recipe for further economic disaster.

According to them, fundamentals required for the sustainability of a sovereign currency include, a lower budget deficit, a trade surplus, realistic import cover, high productivity and capacity utilization, low levels of inflation as well as high level of market confidence among others.