Zimbabwe Treasury Asserts ZiG Currency as Official, Plans Regulatory Measures

A cashier in a leading supermarket dispenses the new ZiG10, short for Zimbabwe Gold, note from a till as change in Harare. Zimbabwe launched the ZiG on 5 April 2024 to replace the Zimbabwean dollar as it seeks to tackle sky-high inflation and stabilise the country's long-floundering economy. (Jekesai Njikizana/AFP)
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Harare, Zimbabwe – The Zimbabwean Treasury announced on Tuesday that the newly introduced gold-backed currency, the Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG), has been designated as the official unit of exchange for all transactions.

Additionally, the government disclosed plans to implement regulations aimed at ensuring adherence to the official exchange rate.

While the ZiG has demonstrated stability on the official market since its rollout in early April, it has encountered challenges on the parallel market.

Traders on the parallel market have been observed charging a premium of up to 65% above the official rate to acquire U.S. dollars using the new currency.

Reports have also surfaced indicating that some supermarkets are imposing a premium above the market rate, which is pegged at ZiG 13.6 per U.S. dollar, for customers conducting transactions in ZiG. Furthermore, informal traders have shown reluctance in accepting the ZiG as a form of payment.

Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube addressed these concerns in a statement, affirming the government’s commitment to maintaining order in pricing mechanisms.

“To ensure orderly pricing, Government will soon be introducing the necessary regulations to ensure that no exchange rate other than the official rate will be used for the pricing of all goods and services,” stated Minister Ncube.

Efforts to stabilize the ZiG have been underway since its introduction, with authorities launching crackdowns on illegal foreign currency trading activities last month.

This marks Zimbabwe’s fourth attempt at establishing a local currency within a decade.

The country abandoned the Zimdollar last month after it experienced a significant devaluation, losing 70% of its value since the beginning of the year.