The Speaker of the Zimbabwean parliament Jacob Mudenda recently blocked the debate on the recently released Statutory Instrument (SI) 142 of 2019, that announced the return of the Zimbabwean dollar, saying the issue was of national interest and should be introduced as a motion.
This came after Hon. Musabayana raised the master in the House of Assembly applauding the Minister of Finance and Economic Development for introducing the local currency. He told parliament that Zimbabwe has taken the right stance in introducing it’s own currency, and urged fellow parliamentarians to support the move.
He however, admitted that the country which now depends heavily on imports still needs foreign currency to settle foreign payments for imports. “… foreign currency is only important for the payment of imports and payment of foreign debt…,” he said.
Hon. Musabayana got support from his peers from the ZANU-PF side, who also applauded the government for introducing the local currency. Hon. Matangira supported, saying a country without its own currency lacks identity. “If we are a family that has no totem we are lost. A country without its own currency has no roots and has no ancestral spirits,” he said.
Meanwhile, some other parliamentarians thought otherwise.
Hon. Biti said the strength of a currency is based on its relationship with the country’s exports and imports. “As long as you have got a deficit in your current account, I submit that we do not have the current account; we do not have the reserves that are necessary to support our own currency,” he said.
He added that ahead of anything else, a currency is subject to political confidence. “This country suffers from kwashiorkor of political confidence. There is absolutely no confidence in this currency. So, I submit Hon. Speaker, that SI 142:2019 is a disaster; that the attempt to de-dollarise this country is a disaster,” Hon. Biti said.
He urged the Minister of Finance to urgently repeal SI 142:2019. But Mudenda stopped the debate on the topic, saying it should be brought later as a motion.
Meanwhile, the introduction of the local currency in Zimbabwe has been received with mixed reactions, with some particularly ZANU-PF members supporting the move, while the other section are against it.
Be that as it may, market watchers have warned that the introduction of the Zimdollar was a disaster for the country in that there is no production. Industry is not performing well, and the country is depending heavily on imports, thereby making the introduction of the local currency unsustainable.