He said this in Parliament yesterday in response to several questions about when Zimbabwe would accept the reality that the country has re-dollarised.
A lot of people are expecting Finance Minister to accept this reality when he presents his mid-term review today but the introduction of a foreign currency auction system four weeks ago seems to indicate that the Zim dollar is here to stay.
Full Q and A:
HON. NYONI: My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare. The cost of living keeps going up all the time. The pricing of goods is now in USD. Many shops are rejecting the local currency. Therefore, when will Government policy be changed to allow payment of salaries in USD?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. MATUKE): I think this question is supposed to be directed to the Minister of Finance who deals with the currencies of the day.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Mr. Speaker, Government has no desire to abandon the Zimbabwean dollar.
HON. MADZIMURE: My supplementary question is the Minister is fully aware that at all service stations, we are now buying fuel in USD. Actually, the currency that is now trading in Zimbabwe is the USD. Can he explain why he would not want the civil servants to also have the opportunity to use a currency that is acceptable, that works in Zimbabwe because it is official that we are using the USD?
HON. ZIYAMBI: Mr. Speaker, the Hon. Member is aware that when COVID came upon us, the Minister of Finance allowed the use of free funds that are available. There was no pronouncement whatsoever that we must go back to a currency that we do not have control on, that we do not produce and our desire at the moment is to ensure that we stabilise our currency and ensure that it becomes stable so that the earnings of our people are not eroded. So, at no point will we entertain the idea of abandoning our currency in the near future. I thank you.
HON. CHIKWINYA: My supplementary question arises from the mention of COVID pandemic by the Hon. Minister in his last response. Realising that the COVID pandemic is upon us, the Ministry of Finance announced that it was going to give US$75 allowances to cushion civil servants in this period. When…
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order! The Hon. Lady member seated on the right of the pillar there, can you stop speaking across and making noise.
Continued next page