Friday 27 March 2020

Coronavirus forces Zimbabwe to reintroduce use of US dollar

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Barely a year after the Zimbabwean government outlawed the use of foreign currencies in local transactions, citizens have been granted permission to pay for goods and services in United States dollars by the Country's Central Bank.

Coronavirus forces Zimbabwe to reintroduce use of US dollar

Zimbabwe's central bank governor, John Mangudy said the reintroduction of foreign currency for transactions in the country is part of the measures to mitigate the devastating impact of coronavirus pandemic on the society and the economy.

Mangudy said;

"The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (the Bank), would like to advise the public that it is making it easier for the transacting public to conduct business during this difficult period by making available an option to use free funds to pay for goods and services chargeable in local currency.
"This intervention takes into account the country's limited access to foreign finance, which is adversely affecting the country's balance-of-payments position."

Though the troubled southern African country has shut its borders in an effort to stem the spread of the virus, it however has three confirmed cases of coronavirus. The virus has also claimed the life of a promising broadcaster Zororo Makamba.

Zimbabwe adopted the use of US dollars in 2009 after hyperinflation decimated the value of the old Zimbabwean dollar but the move proved problematic in 2016 when dollar-hoarding triggered a severe shortage of greenbacks.

In June 2019, June, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube outlawed the use of foreign currencies in the country, in an effort to stop speculative attacks on a surrogate currency meant to pave the way for fledgeling new sovereign Zimbabwean dollar which was introduced into circulation late last year.

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