Mthuli Ncube says Zimbabwe has now taken control of its economic destiny


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Currency: Taking back control

Zimbabwe is on a journey. A marathon. Indeed, sometimes it feels more of a steeplechase. As although the journey has just begun, we have faced a multitude of challenges to overcome already. This was not unexpected. And as responsible economists, you must always prepare to tackle these obstacles.

When embarking on an arduous journey such as the complete reformation and rebuilding of an economy, it is however crucial you know what your destination is. We know what our destination is: It is middle income status. It is prosperity for the people of Zimbabwe.

But knowing your destination is not always enough. You must be willing to deal with those hardships, those challenges, which inevitably crop up on any difficult journey.

Most importantly, you must take control of as many factors as possible. You must have control over your destiny.

This week, Zimbabwe took back control of its economic destiny.

In fact, it had always been apparent to us that for true stability, stability upon which economic growth can be built, our own currency was necessary.

The multicurrency regime was holding us back. Like a headwind for a cyclist who is already peddling up hill, the multicurrency regime had left us exposed to the elements.

In this case, the element was the aggressive inflation caused by the US Dollar pricing. Put simply, we had to take our destiny back into our own hands; we had to take back control of monetary policy to remove that element, and make it up the hill.

Regaining control will first and foremost benefit you, the hardworking Zimbabwean. Our teachers and doctors, our entrepreneurs and cleaners; they don’t earn in US dollars. So why sell in US dollars?

Prior to this move, the vast majority of our hard working Zimbabweans were being discriminated against in what had become a two tiered and unfair economy.

What we had was a situation whereby there were stable and affordable prices for the fortunate Zimbabweans who had access to dollars, and a paralysing high cost of living for the rest of the country. This is not right, and we had to step in.

The inevitable question posed by many therefore is why didn’t we act sooner? Indeed, they would be right in noting that the multicurrency regime is not a new phenomenon.

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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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