By Daniel Chigundu
Permanent secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development George Guvamatanga has told Parliament that adopting the Rand is not different from using the US Dollar as it would need to be earned.
There have suggestions from various economic commentators that the country should consider joining the Rand Union as an escape from the current currency challenges bedevilling the country.
Chief among the challenges has been the depreciating value of the Bond Notes against the United States Dollar which was part of the now dumped multi-currency regime adopted in 2009.
Addressing the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Budget and Finance, Guvamatanga said the currency is irrelevant and that effort must be put towards production.
“We have to produce, the currency becomes irrelevant here, what becomes important is what our next step is and our next step is going to focus on production so that you earn the currency.
“We have spoken in this country this debate about the Rand as if it is a local currency, as if we can print the Rand, we can’t print the USD we can print the Rand.
“They are exactly the same so the difference is exactly the same whether you have the Rand whether you have the USD, so I think this debate about moving to the Rand I think it has done its term and moved its journey I think now we have moved on to a local currency which is the right thing to do,” he said.
According to Guvamatanga using the Bond Notes and the US Dollar at the same was creating a two-tiered economy where those who have access to foreign currency were enjoying cheaper goods while those with no access were being disadvantaged.
“I think the other side that we need to mention is this two-tiered economy which was actually a disadvantage to your constituencies because you have a two-tiered economy where the few people with USD were able to buy goods and services cheaply while those without access to USD were then subjected to pricing using parallel market rates.
“So if anything, what we have done really is strengthen your political position because at least your constituency will be able to acquire cheaper goods priced on the basis of the real economy but the two-tiered economy was a disadvantage to the majority of Zimbabweans and that is what we have moved to correct,” he said.-