Zimbabwe one of only three countries in the world without its own currency


Nelson Chamisa

Zimbabwe is currently one of the only three countries in the world that have no currencies of their own, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said. The other two countries are Panama and Ecuador, both in South America.

Chinamasa said Zimbabwe, which currently has nine recognised currencies operating but is dominated by the United States dollar, was not just using the United States dollar for imports but also to finance domestic transactions.

“Tinoshandisa maUS dollar, foreign currency reserve, kutenga mazhanje, madora, mbeva, ipwa ne matomato,” he said.  

“Other countries build vaults to keep the foreign currency reserves in US dollars because a US dollar currency is a global currency.  If you have US dollars now, you can drop anywhere in the world and you will be able to use the US dollars, it will be acceptable.  No other currencies match that quality.”

Chinamasa Zimbabweans had turned the United States into a commodity rather than as a medium of exchange.

“They look at it as an asset which they keep under the pillow, in drawers and so forth.  When we introduced the US dollar, we meant it to be a medium of exchange.  Now if money is being withdrawn and not being deposited, it means that there is no money in circulation and the circulation of money is what makes an economy.  If money is not circulating, it means business transactions cannot be undertaken,” he said.

Q & A

 *HON. CHAMISA: Thank you Madam Speaker, my question is directed to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Hon. Chinamasa.  We have observed that Dr. Mangudya made a pronouncement that the country will introduce a currency that had been turned down some time ago. After this statement, we started experiencing cash crisis in the banks.  Minister, you are aware of the hardships that our people are facing in this country, what are you doing to alleviate this problem as Government?  The RBZ Governor said they would want to give import incentives from the US$200m. Which industries do you expect to be exporting because a lot of mines have closed and the same applies to manufacturing, clothing, horticulture, beef industry and retail?  What are you going to be exporting and who are your beneficiaries so that our economy can be revived?  I thank you.

Continued next page


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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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