Chinamasa says loose change will only be available by December


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Small change will only be available by December but there is no question of bringing back the Zimbabwe dollar because the economy would collapse, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said yesterday.

Responding to a question from Kuwadzana East Member of Parliament Nelson Chamisa, Chinamasa said loose coins in denominations from 1c to 50c will be available by December so that items that cost 20 cents will not be priced at US$1.

“On the issue of having our own currency, I am on record several times; you did not listen when I presented the Mid Term Fiscal Policy Review – I said, we shall be on a multi-currency regime for sometime because the Zimbabwean dollar requires confidence, Hon. Chamisa.

“The confidence that is required is that we should build our own reserves. If we do not have our reserves it will be difficult to bring our own currency. It will lose its weight, value and it will be detrimental to the economy.

“Do you want the economy to collapse Hon. Chamisa? We want our economy to remain stable; it should remain firm continuously and we should not be talking about things that destroy our economy,” Chinamasa said.

On the barring of imports to protect local companies, Chinamasa said this was not done willy-nilly. The government was aware that Zimbabwe had the capacity to produce the products.

“We carried out due diligence, for example the issue of chickens. We investigated to see if we have adequate people who were into poultry projects to ensure that if such measures were taken, there would not be a shortage of chickens and that these chickens would be available at an affordable price.

“The same due diligence was done on each and every product. There are certain things that we know that we do not have the capacity to produce, and we did not place a ban on them up until when Hon. Made has put in place measures that can lead us into cultivating such plants so that there will not be a shortage.”

Q & A:

*MR. CHIBAYA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Minister Chinamasa. You have already said, in a bid to protect our companies you have now stopped some goods from coming into this country. As Minister of Finance and Economic Development, what measures have you taken as regards the prices since people were getting these goods at lower or cheaper prices? Is it not going to be difficult for the lives of people of Zimbabwe?

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (MR. CHINAMASA): Thank you Mr. Speaker. I also thank Hon. Chibaya for posing a question. I would want to set the record straight in this august House by stating that the banning of importation of produce and products from outside the country is because we all know that we have the capacity to produce these. It was not done willy-nilly. We carried out due diligence, for example the issue of chickens. We investigated to see if we have adequate people who were into poultry projects to ensure that if such measures were taken, there would not be a shortage of chickens and that these chickens would be available at an affordable price. The same due diligence was done on each and every product. There are certain things that we know that we do not have the capacity to produce, and we did not place a ban on them up until when Hon. Made has put in place measures that can lead us into cultivating such plants so that there will not be a shortage.

I thank you for affording me this opportunity to clarify on the due diligence that we have done in conjunction with the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.

*MR. CHAMISA: Thank you Madam Speaker for the opportunity. On the issue that has been raised by Hon. Chibaya about the measures the Minister took in his Mid-Term Fiscal Policy Review, the Government, in trying to make life easier for the majority of the people, did they have measures to ensure that there be enough currency in circulation and that we have loose coins? When is our currency coming back instead of the multi-currency that we are now proud of?

*THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Chamisa, is that a supplementary question. I understand a supplementary question arises from a question that has already been asked. I am of the view that your question is a different one altogether. However, I will give the Minister the chance to answer the question for the benefit of the House.

*THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (MR. CHINAMASA): Madam Speaker, you had said it well; it is not a supplementary question. This is a completely new question. Be that as it may, you have posed two questions. You want to find out about loose coins; I was of the view that you have already read what the Governor of the Reserve Bank has already said. Plans are underway by the Reserve Bank Governor to bring loose coins from 1 cent, 5 cents, 10 cents, 25 cents and 50 cents so that items that cost 20 cents will not be priced for US$1. It is envisaged that by December, the small change will be in circulation which will be at par with the US dollar. It is being done and this it has been supported by US$50 million so as to ensure that the small coins have monetary value.
On the issue of having our own currency, I am on record several times; you did not listen when I presented the Mid Term Fiscal Policy Review – I said, we shall be on a multi-currency regime for sometime because the Zimbabwean dollar requires confidence, Hon. Chamisa. The confidence that is required is that we should build our own reserves. If we do not have our reserves it will be difficult to bring our own currency. It will lose its weight, value and it will be detrimental to the economy. Do you want the economy to collapse Hon. Chamisa? We want our economy to remain stable; it should remain firm continuously and we should not be talking about things that destroy our economy. Thank you for your question.

(53 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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