Mnangagwa hints Central Bank to revamp local currency

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa attends a joint press conference with Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi (not pictured) at the State House in Harare, Zimbabwe, on July 13, 2023. Iran's Presidency/Mohammad Javad Ostad/WANA (West Asia News Agency)/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo
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HARARE –  Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa hinted that the authorities will soon announce steps to halt a plunge in its currency, which is the world’s worst performer against the dollar this year.

“We shall soon be announcing the introduction of our structured currency,” Mnangagwa said Tuesday at his first cabinet meeting of the year in the capital, Harare. The nation’s fiscal and monetary heads are working on a raft of policy measures to arrest price increases, stabilize the currency and encourage savings, he said, without providing further details.

George Guvamatanga, the secretary for finance and economic development, didn’t immediately respond to a text message seeking comment.

The Zimbabwean dollar has lost more than 40% of its value against the dollar this year and traded at 10,927 on Tuesday, its weakest level since being reintroduced in 2019. The depreciation has stoked annual inflation that soared to 34.8% last month from 26.5% in December.

Rising costs of food and goods and services including housing and electricity contributed to the surge.

Read More: Zimbabwe’s Currency Crashes to Lowest Since Its 2019 Revamp

Zimbabwe has been struggling to stabilize its foreign-exchange rate even after the authorities took multiple steps to support it, including mandating corporates to pay taxes strictly in the local currency, introducing gold-backed digital money and liberalizing the exchange rate.

Source – newzwire