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I’ll report back if ZiG fails: RBZ governor

RESERVE Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor, John Mashayavanhu, has said he will report back to the citizens if the newly-introduced Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG) currency fails to work.

RESERVE Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor, John Mashayavanhu, has said he will  report back to the citizens if the newly-introduced Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG) currency fails to work.

Mushayavanhu said this yesterday while unpacking the monetary policy statement at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair in Bulawayo yesterday.

The engagement with captains of industry and other stakeholders  was organised by Alpha Media Holdings (AMH).

AMH are the publishers of The Standard, NewsDay and Zimbabwe Independent newspapers and runs online radio station HSTV.

Mushayavanhu said he was a listening governor.

“I can say we are monitoring all the issues that you raised in the monetary policy and the solutions to see if it’s working,” he said.

“I have a dashboard to check if we are on track or not.

“If we are not on track I will do the consultations again and come back to the people and say this thing is not working and what can we do to make it work.”

The ZiG replaced the Zimdollar that had been severely battered by hyperinflation, pushing up the cost of living.

ZiG notes and coins will be rolled out on April 30.

Mushayavanhu said players in the fuel sector would be required to settle their dues in ZiG which will drive demand and boost confidence in the new currency.

“We have more than enough cover for ZiG.  80% of transactions are in foreign currency while 20% are in local currency. The exchange rate of ZiG will be market driven,” he said.

Mushayavanhu said government would scrap the 10% mark up that businesses charge on the interbank rate as it was making goods and services more expensive in local currency.

He said fuel players would scramble for ZiG to pay the 50% on the quarterly payment dates (QPDs) in local currency. The second QPD is June in which businesses are expected to pay 25% of their annual taxes.

This, Mushayavanhu said, will force fuel operators to accept ZiG so that they meet their tax obligations.

He said stakeholders should not be fooled by money changers who have started speculating on the ZiG exchange rate.

“We realised that we were competing with stronger currencies and it [Zimdollar] was in a free fall because we did not have gold reserves,” he added.

Mushayavanhu said the central bank was engaging the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority after noting that its systems were not yet ready to accept ZiG as a mode of payment.

He emphasised the need to honour local transactions in ZiG reserving the US dollar for foreign obligations.

AMH chief executive officer Kenias Mafukidze said the media house was providing a platform for nation building.

“This is because we win together or we lose together,” he said.

“We need to create a rapport because success can only come when there is trust and confidence. The decisions made by the RBZ play a pivotal role in the course of our economy,” he said.

“Last year, we saw one of the worst deterioration of our currency. The last quarter between January and March was quite dramatic...”

He added: “The issue is we must work together to make it (ZiG) a success because if it does not then we go wrong.

“So we are here to investigate collectively on how we can make sure that it doesn’t meet the same fate as the Bond note had and how we can all make it work.”

Authorities say the ZiG is backed by gold and foreign currency reserves as well as other minerals.

The Zimdollar was reintroduced in 2019 after a decade of dollarisation.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has insisted that there is no reverting to dollarisation as he forges ahead with his de-dollarisation strategy.

Zimbabwe was forced to introduce the use of the United States dollar and other foreign currencies in 2009 when the local unit had become moribund.

Critics have accused authorities of experimenting with the local currency, resulting in its rapid depreciation.

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