Where on earth have gold coins been used and have they worked, Zimbabwe Senator asks?


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HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA: Thank you very much Mr. President. I want to thank Sen. Komichi for the question which shows that as a leader, he is concerned by the people’s lives and things which make this country a better country. I want to say, first of all, the fundamentals of the economy of this country are in the right place. The issue of gold coins which he has brought about is an issue which the Reserve Bank has come up with. It is a very clear plan to move the economy forward.

The introduction of gold coins is meant to provide a good product for a store of value and to strengthen our local currency and minimise the volatility of the parallel exchange rate. Once I speak about the volatility in the parallel exchange rate, it affects the grassroots, people all the way to the bottom, to any village, any ward and any cell. By introducing the gold coin, they are already dealing with that problem. I want him to understand that the introduction of the gold coins is really meant to minimise that volatility of the parallel market and also to strengthen the local currency.

The suspension of lending is again something which was done to give Government time to investigate and all the speculative lending activities. There has been a lot of dirty work which has been happening in the economy. There is no country in the world where the exchange rate is determined by a private company. In this country, the RBZ will say the exchange rate is so much and then there is another institution or company out there which gives another exchange rate. So, all what Government is doing is to make sure that we promote our local currency. We minimise that pain which is happening because of the volatility in exchange rates. Thank you.

HON. SEN. PHUGENI: Thank you Mr. President for the opportunity. Thank you Minister for the answer. You said the fundamentals of the economy are solid but you and I know that our people continue to languish in poverty. Our people continue to struggle to pay fees which is charged in foreign currency or at a parallel rate. Our children are dying because of malnutrition, reason being that we cannot afford to buy goods from the shops. Everything in this country has become difficult and impossible to achieve because of runaway inflation yet the Minister says fundamentals of the economy are solid.

The question therefore Minister is; what are the fundamentals of the economy that are solid? What is this solid economy which somehow does not help the ordinary person? Not only the ordinary person, our doctors are striking week in and week out, our nurses, our teachers, the parliamentarians are crying, everyone is crying yet the economy is said to be solid. What is this fundamental economy? Thank you Mr. President.

HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA: Thank you Mr. President, I also want to thank Hon.  Kalpani Phugeni and want to say to this august House, this economy is on the roll and that is the truth about it. When you go outside I understand fully the suffering of our people, that is why I said all what the Government is doing is to make sure that there is stability in the country which is being attacked by the detractors of this country. When I talk about the fundamentals that are there, I think the Second Republic has created an environment where entrepreneurs have been doing extremely well in this country. Just to go outside there and I am not closed, I am a politician myself and know how people are suffering.

When you go outside there and look around what is happening in the country, the roads which are being done which had never been done for so many years, the bridges and dams which have been built, the Gwayi-Shangani Dam is going to increase water supply in Matebeland for example, things which have never been done for the last 42 years. We all know that by having the Gwayi-Shangani Dam, we will have reliable water supply for that region. Once there is that massive water body, projects will then be ignited to make sure that this country has rural industrialisation. That is happening and that is one of the dams but there are so many of them. I am talking about the investment which has been made, especially in electricity.

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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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