HARARE, August 7, 2013—Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono says the use of the multicurrency regime is set to continue and there won’t be moves to re-introduce the Zimbabwean dollar any time soon.
Gono’s remarks are set to calm market jittery as speculation swirled that Zanu PF would use its over two thirds majority in Parliament to stampede the return of the banished currency.
Zanu PF candidate, President Robert Mugabe, trounced his long time rival Morgan Tsvangirai getting 61% of the votes raising fears the local currency would bounce back.
“…there are no plans whatsoever, within and outside the Bank, for the immediate or near-term introduction of new currency or re-introduction of the Zimbabwe dollar into our system,” Gono said Tuesday.
The market has been awash with speculation that Zanu PF would railroad through the reintroduction of the banished currency after getting over two thirds majority in Parliament and victory by President Robert Mugabe in last week’s harmonised elections.
President Mugabe has in the past called for the reintroduction of the local currency, ditched by people at the height of hyperinflation in 2007-2008. It was demonetised in 2009 in turn the economy turned to a basket of four currencies—Botswana pula, United States dollar, British pound and South African rand.
Gono said the multicurrency regime was here to stay.
“The multi-currency regime will be with us for the foreseeable future and in any case, when the time comes, the local currency will circulate alongside other existing currencies with people exercising their choice of currency to hold,” he said.
Gono said the multicurrency regime was not an area of emotional choice or option but rather a measure officially introduced in January 2009 “as part of our adaptive economic strategy and a pragmatic response to the challenges of the day”.
“While the hyper-inflation challenge is now a thing of the past, a number other deep-seated challenges which bedeviled the economy prior to 2009 are still with us, hence the need to stay the course,” the RBZ boss said.
The use of the multicurrency regime is credited with taming hyperinflation and arrest the decade long economic decline. Since 2009, the economy has been recording successive annual growth rates.
According to the Economic Report on Africa 2013 released in March, Zimbabwe was one top 10 economic performers on the continent with average annual growths of 7% in the period 2008-2012, a key prerequisite for achieving the Millennium Development Goals.