Govt won't back down on bond notes - Zim finance minister

2016-05-17 11:49

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Harare - Zimbabwean Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa is adamant that the southern African nation's government would not back down on introducing bond notes, despite widespread resistance, a report said on Tuesday.

According to NewsDay, Chinamasa said that the introduction of the bond notes was non-negotiable as the government was determined to ease the rampant cash crunch that had bedeviled the country.

Speaking at a public discussion, organised by the Southern African Political and Economic Series (Sapes) Trust, Chinamasa said that Zimbabweans had no choice but to accept the bond notes as part of several measures to bring stability into the economy.

He was, however, quick to emphasise that the government was not going to reintroduce the country’s hated former currency, after it reached hyperinflation in 2008.

"We are asking Zimbabweans to take a leap of faith into the future. We all lost something in the past, but we cannot be held back by what happened. Some people will have to jump unwittingly. You are going to jump and some of you we will ask you in future how you jumped," Chinamasa was quoted as saying.

The Zimbabwe government recently announced that it was planning to introduce bond notes after the country experienced cash problems - a move seen by many as a sneaky attempt to take the country back to the Zimbabwean dollar. 

Reports indicated that the ruling Zanu-PF party was also divided over the decision.

Some Zanu-PF lawmakers said the move could trigger hyperinflation and return the country to the 2008 economic meltdown.

Zimbabwe abandoned its own currency in 2009 because of hyperinflation. The country adopted the US dollar, while the rand, euro, Botswana pula, yen, yuan and Indian rupee were also legal tender.

The leader of the main opposition the Movement for Democratic Change, Morgan Tsvangirai, urged Zimbabweans to resist the move saying "we have all walked that road before".

Directly contradicting the central bank governor, who said that the new bank notes were merely meant to encourage exports, Tsvangirai said that President Robert Mugabe's government would "abuse" civil servants by paying them in the new form of cash.

Read more on:    robert  |  patrick chinamasa  |  mugabe  |  morgan ­tsvangirai  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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