Mnangagwa rules out early return to Zim dollar

18 September 2018 - 17:41 By AFP
Zimbabwe's president Emmerson Mnangagwa arrives for the opening of Parliament in Harare on Tuesday.
Zimbabwe's president Emmerson Mnangagwa arrives for the opening of Parliament in Harare on Tuesday.
Image: Philimon Bulawayo/Reuters

Zimbabwe's president Emmerson has ruled out an early return of the Zimbabwean dollar, toning down remarks by his finance minister that backed reintroducing the currency.

In an inaugural address in parliament marked by an opposition walkout, Mnangagwa pledged a raft of economic measures on Tuesday, including currency reforms and better forex availability.

But, he said, conditions had to be right before foreign currencies were replaced once more by the Zimbabwean dollar.

"My government shall continue with the use of the multicurrency system up until the current negative economic fundamentals have been addressed to give credence to the introduction of the local currency," Mnangagwa said.

In 2009, wracked by hyper-inflation, Zimbabwe dumped the local dollar and adopted the US greenback and other foreign currencies, including the South African rand.

But the economy remains deep in the mire, crippled by policies adopted under Mnangagwa's predecessor Robert Mugabe.

On September 10, new finance minister Mthuli Ncube said he backed a return of the Zimbabwe dollar, "the sovereign currency", to help economic revival. But, he said, this had to be done in conjunction with "fiscal policy".

Lawmakers from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) boycotted Mnangagwa's inaugural state-of-the-nation address.

"MDC members of parliament have just defied the illegitimate president and Zanu-PF leader ED Mnangagwa by walking out during his uninspiring reading of a speech," Sibanda tweeted. 

Mnangagwa was declared winner after Zimbabwe's top court threw out the MDC's bid to overturn the results of the July 30 presidential elections.

Lawmakers from the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) walked out of President Emmerson Mnangagwa's state of the nation address on Tuesday September 18 2018.