Zimbabweans should not rely solely on the United States dollar but use the rest of the currencies in the currency basket until the economy fully recovers, President Mugabe has said.
In his 93rd birthday interview with ZBCtv aired on Monday and Tuesday, President Mugabe said he was fully behind use of the multi-currency system for now
This is contrary to reports in the Daily News yesterday claiming President Mugabe said Zimbabwe should adopt only the South African rand as the main currency.
Said President Mugabe: “Well, I don’t know why the Ministry of Finance, together with the Reserve Bank, have not wanted to use other currencies (on top of US dollar).
“I have asked actually again and again kuti why not have euros, why not have yuan, why not have rand alongside with the dollar? They have promised to introduce the other currencies. At least if we had the euro, I don’t think we have sanctions on the euro but the euro is slightly more expensive than the dollar but the difference is minimum.”
President Mugabe said he wanted Zimbabwe to adopt the rand as the main trading currency.
On Zimbabwe having its own currency, the President said:
“Maybe you don’t seem to know the history we had with our own currency, that galloping inflation and we thought of giving it up and adopting the dollar. That’s how it all happened, the rand, we are a multi-currency country.”
He said while the Americans wanted their dollar to be popular, they did not want to issue new notes.
“The Americans are saying we will not impose sanctions on that one, we want them to use our dollar and make it more popular but then they will say aah that is as far as we can go but we can’t issue them fresh piles of dollars when they need them,” President Mugabe said.
“That’s how we have been restricted, that’s the cause of most of the liquidity that we have, illiquidity that we have, because we have not been able to replenish the dollars. If you look at some of the dollars that have gone round, they are dirty (laughs), goodness me! The one dollar I think they are the dirtiest of all, the smaller ones, one dollar, two dollar.”
He said many people, mainly those in the informal sector, were reluctant to bank their money as a result of a “faulty system”.
“There is a lot of money stashed in homes,” President Mugabe said.
“If we send police and soldiers to move house by house and dig for the funds that are being hidden there. Don’t take them as yours but dig them up and tell us who and who have them. You will be guilty, I will be guilty, I don’t know who will not be guilty because we are not sure the money would be safe in banks and available when one wants it later. So you tend to keep it. It’s not your fault, it’s not his fault. It’s the fault of a system that has not yielded enough cash.
Mind you the dollar is not our currency…”