Zimbabwe Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi says independent legislator Temba Mliswa and former Finance Minister Tendai Biti must come up with solutions on how to strengthen the local currency and not just say they prefer the United States dollar because that is not a solution.
Responding to questions in Parliament on why the government did not just pay farmers in United States dollars and ditch the local currency because it was worthless, Ziyambi, who is leader of government business in Parliament, said Zimbabwe could not abandon its currency but was looking at ways to strengthen it.
“The truth is that we cannot stop paying farmers in RTGS. As a government, we can only put measures to control and stabilise the inflation rates on the parallel market. If you look at all the countries around the world, Zambia for example, has once done it but eventually moved away from that decision and opted for their own currency, the Kwacha,” Ziyambi said. “We have to promote our own currency if we want to control our own economy. We cannot therefore say we are no longer paying in RTGS, we cannot dump the RTGS because it has lost value and we adopt another currency – that is not possible. I actually expect Hon. Hwende to come up with sustainable solutions on how we can work around the issue.”
Mliswa said the local currency was worthless. Zimbabwe should adopt the United States dollar and park the local currency until it has been fixed.
“If the car is not performing well, we park it, we cannot force matters. It does not mean that the car is not functional but we are fixing it as we park it. When the car is now fixed and fully functional, we adopt it but we are being asked to have the RTGS competing with the USD; it is actually being comic. We must not play politics with reality,” Mliswa said.
Ziyambi responded: “We cannot throw away our own currency as a country. What we want is Hon. Mliswa and Hon. Biti to come and give their opinions on how we can strengthen our currency, not that he prefers Biden’s currency, that is not a solution.”
Q & A:
HON. HWENDE: My question is directed to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement. He is not present today and he is one of those Ministers who does not attend Parliament. However, I will direct the question to the Leader of Government Business, Hon. Ziyambi.
What is Government policy with regard to farmers who are selling their products to GMB and being paid a huge component in RTGS? The RTGS will not enable these farmers to buy inputs for the next cropping season.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you very much, Hon. Speaker. Hon. Hwende did not come out clearly with his question. The Government has pronounced the maize prices in the country, the prices were clearly spelled out in USD and RTGS.
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