Zimbabwe seeks return to dollar as new govt sworn in

Zimbabwe's newly sworn-in finance minister on Monday said he planned to reintroduce the Zimbabwe dollar and accelerate plans to repay the country's debt, in a bid to revive the battered economy.

The southern African nation abandoned its currency after it spiralled out of control between 2008 and 2009 during the rule of Robert Mugabe.

The country adopted the US greenback and other foreign currencies including the South African rand. But a few years later, with the economy in tatters, US bank notes started to run short.

In 2016, Mugabe's government tried to tackle the chronic shortage of US banknotes by introducing a parallel token currency called "bond notes", theoretically worth the same as a US dollar.

But the bond notes are in reality worth far less than the US dollar.

"Ultimately, I want to be very clear, I want to see the Zimbabwe dollar come back, the sovereign currency," the new finance minister, Mthuli Ncube, told reporters shortly after he was sworn-in.

Ncube, 55, a former Oxford university professor and a former vice president of the African Development Bank, has the tough task of reviving an economy wrecked under Mugabe, who was ousted last year.

"But currency reform alone is not adequate, it needs a second leg. It works with fiscal policy."

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was sworn in after his victory in a landmark July election, vowed to make fixing the economy his priority.

Ncube also vowed to resolve Harare's debt with international institutions.

"We have plans that we want to make sure that the international financial institutions such as the African Development Bank and the World Bank are fully on board to work with us to resolve the arrears," he said.

On Monday Mnangagwa swore in 20 cabinet ministers, 13 deputy ministers and nine provincial ministers.

The cabinet includes a former Olympic swimmer, Kirsty Coventry, who is the new sports minister.

* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Are you going to keep wearing a mask following the announcement that it is no longer required under law?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
No ways, I'm done
41% - 2834 votes
Yes, I still want to be cautious
21% - 1460 votes
Only certain circumstances
38% - 2580 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
15.80
+1.1%
Rand - Pound
19.39
-0.0%
Rand - Euro
16.68
-0.0%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.98
-0.1%
Rand - Yen
0.12
-0.0%
Gold
1,827.37
0.0%
Silver
21.15
0.0%
Palladium
1,880.50
0.0%
Platinum
911.50
0.0%
Brent Crude
113.12
+2.7%
Top 40
59,993
+1.6%
All Share
66,349
+1.6%
Resource 10
64,422
-0.2%
Industrial 25
76,590
+2.6%
Financial 15
15,623
+1.9%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE