By Daniel Chigundu
OPPOSITION members in the National Assembly yesterday demanded that government reveal concrete measures it is taking to address the current cash crisis.
Zimbabwe is facing a massive cash-crisis that has seen banks going without hard-cash to give to depositors most of whom are sleeping in queues or spending the hours there.
A few weeks ago, President Emmerson Mnangagwa told the nation that he had declined to receive his salary in cash opting to queue with others in banks, as opposed to former President Robert Mugabe who wants his pension to be paid in cash.
Speaking during a question and answer session in the National Assembly, Mutare Central legislator Innocent Gonese said the cash crisis has been with us for a long time and government must clean on whether they have a solution or not.
“…My supplementary question to the Hon. Minister of Justice, in his capacity as the Leader of the House, is – what are the concrete measures, the specific interventions that his government is going to come up with in order to resolve this crisis which is a debilitating crisis which affects all the people of Zimbabwe?
“It is important Mr Speaker for the Honourable Minister to give us an indication as to when we can expect this crisis to be resolved. It has been with us for a very long time and I believe that as a member of Cabinet, they sit in Cabinet, they must be ceased with these matters and it is critical that the Honourable Leader of the House tells us what are the specific and concrete policy measures that they want to put in place in order to resolve this crisis and as to when we can expect a solution?
“If they are clueless, they must tell us so that they have no answer to the crisis,” he said.
In his response, however, Minister Ziyambi proposed to refer the question to the Minister of Finance Patrick Chinamasa who was not in the House including his Deputy Terrence Mukupe.
Zimbabwe tried a few years ago to address the cash crisis by introducing the Bond Notes which have all but disappeared from the formal system and are only found on the black market.
Banks that are giving cash to depositors are only giving Bond coins in such denominations as $1, $0.50cents, $0.25cents, $0.10 cents and $0.05cents.
According to economists, there is more RTGs money than there is cash in circulation creating unwarranted demand since Zimbabwe has generally been a cash economy and there are not as many POS machines as would be enough.