Biti slams Zimdollar talk …says Bond notes should be demonetised

By Daniel Chigundu

FORMER Finance and Economic Development Minister Tendai Biti has warned those talking of the return of the discarded Zimdollar that economics is different from chanting political party slogans.

Some sections in Zanu PF are of the idea that returning the much dreaded Zimdollar could be the right step in solving the current economic situation obtaining in the country owing to the liquidity crisis.

Zimbabwe which adopted the multi-currency system in 2009 is facing its worst financial challenge since independence fronted by a crippling cash crisis.

The cash crisis has seen people spending more time in bank queues trying to withdraw their money and so dire is the situation that some of them are having to spend nights in queues.

Economist Professor Ashok Chakravati is also on record calling for the introduction of the local currency arguing that continued use of the US dollar was not sustainable for the country.

Writing on his Twitter handle, Biti who was once voted as the best Finance Minister in Africa during the time of the inclusive government said not many countries have successfully de-dollarized.

“Apart from Panama, there is no country in the world that has involuntarily dollarized that has been able to successfully de-dollarize. Nationalists arguing for the return of the Zimbabwe dollar must understand that economics is a science and not emotion or slogans.

“My submission made in the #SEA (State of the Economy Address) is that we demonetize the bond note, ring fence to 30 June 2016 all US$ balances in the banks, we join the Rand Monetary Union and we stop raiding the Central Bank and issuing out TBs,” he said.

Biti added that in 2008 people particularly pensioners lost value through hyperinflation and that it is now important to “isolate people’s balances in their US$ form so that they are not contaminated with bond notes and the fake cyber currency in the form of RTGs and debit card balances,” he said.

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