Zimbabwe has no plans whatsoever to abandon local currency


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HON. CHIKWINYA: I was saying the last response by the Hon. Minister mentions the issue of the COVID pandemic upon us. In response to that the Hon. Minister of Finance announced a US$75 COVID allowance to cushion the civil servants during this period which is supposed to last for three months. My question is – we are now post one month, post -30 days after that announcement. When can the civil servants expect to be paid because they are still suffering from the prices pegged on the free funds which he has mentioned, which affects fuel and other basic goods and services. Thank you.

HON. ZIYAMBI: I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question. Mr. Speaker, a policy and a position was taken to pay a 50% salary increase and a USD75. That position was taken. Regarding the payment modalities, that is not my job to come here and give technical details as to how the Treasury is going to pay and when. Perhaps if he wants to know the specifics, he can put that in writing and then I can forward to the Minister so that he can explain but what I can explain is there is a policy position that a 50% salary increase be paid and a USD75 cushioning allowance for the next three months.

HON. CHIKWINYA: My point of order is that Parliament makes laws for the good governance of the country. As such, we are expected to be representatives of the people in terms of Section 119 of the Constitution. I am not seeking any technical modalities and the responsible Minister must be able to be responsive to the plight of the people of Zimbabwe. The Government took a policy in response to the pressures which were coming in from the workers and the workers are simply demanding a date upon which they are going to be paid. Is it month end, next year and I am sure Hon. Minister, with all due respect, a date suffices to ease the anxiety with the people in our constituencies. I beg you Hon. Minister that it is not a technicality but purely a response to the anxiety of the people in our constituencies. When are the people going to expect to be paid their USD75 in nostro accounts? Thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Your point of order is asking for a technical exactitude which the Hon. Leader of Government Business may not provide. My understanding of technicalities is the modalities to translate that policy into action. That is what I understood by the response of the Hon. Minister, not technical in the scientific sense. Thank You.

HON. BITI: My supplementary is directed to the Minister of Justice. The original question is, when is Government going to pay civil servants? The Government itself is now levying its charges in USD. Only last week on Friday, the Minister of Transport enacted Statutory Instrument 162 of 2020 which now says that all vehicle licences in Zimbabwe must be paid in USD. Over and above that, the RBZ, through its exchange control directive that established the auction floor on the trade of foreign currency, has obliged every shop in Zimbabwe to display prices in USD and in local currencies. When you go on the ground in the shops Mr. Speaker, shops are refusing the local currency. Once the RBZ has made that determination, it means that we are now officially dollarising and if we are dollarizing…

THE HON. SPEAKER: What is your question?

HON. BITI: The question is when are you now going to officially dollarise the salaries of civil servants?

HON. ZIYAMBI: Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question. Mr. Speaker, let me repeat my earlier response. The Government has no plans whatsoever, to abandon the use of the Z$. Rather, we are working towards progressively ensuring that it becomes the sole currency of trade in Zimbabwe. Thank you.

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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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