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Comment: Zimdollar not needed

A resolution by Zanu PF calling for the re-introduction of the Zimbabwean dollar exposes the bankruptcy of a party that has become synonymous with ruinous policies.

The Standard Editorial

Despite the gains made by the dollarised economy during the past three years, Zanu PF delegates meeting in Gweru a week ago decided to champion for the return of the local currency.

They resolved “to work out modalities for the re-introduction of domestic currency alongside the multi-currency system in order to address the current liquidity crisis and to enable our people to carry out their transactions”.

While Zanu PF has a right to push for policies favourable to its membership, seeking to bring back the Zimdollar proves the party is not just short-sighted, but has a penchant for destructive policies.

It’s a matter of record that Zimbabwe, under the Zanu PF regime, experienced an economic meltdown that only ended after the consummation of a unity government in February 2009.

Valueless quadrillions, quintillions and sextillions spawned untold hardships among Zimbabweans who endured endless bank queues and empty supermarket shelves.

Many in Zanu PF are obviously aware of the consequences of resuscitating the Zimdollar, but are never concerned about what is good for the country.

Their concern is only what keeps President Robert Mugabe in power.

As elections beckon, Zanu PF favours a return to the pre-dollarisation era where the Reserve Bank funded party programmes like the agriculture mechanisation scheme which benefitted only the chefs and connected elites.

But the return of the Zimdollar will have dire consequences for an economy that was starting to recover.

There is a real possibility that the effect of the re-introduction of the Zimdollar could be catastrophic, with queues, shortages of basic commodities and the blackmarket re-emerging.

Investors, already unnerved by the indigenisation regulations that force companies to cede 51% stake to locals, could shun the country.

Unless Zimbabwe has adequate bankable reserves to support its own currency, conventional wisdom dictates that the Zimdollar should remain confined to the dustbins of history where it belongs.

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