Zimbabwe’s ZiG: Bold Steps to Restore Economic Confidence

Central Bank's New Policies Aim to Stabilize ZiG Currency

by Adenike Adeodun

The Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), John Mushayavanhu, is leading ongoing financial reforms in the country. The goal is to restore confidence in Zimbabwe’s economic systems through the introduction and stabilization of the Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG). This effort is a crucial move towards regaining public trust and international credibility, and it is not just an economic imperative. In a recent discussion with The Zimbabwe Independent, Mushayavanhu outlined several critical measures that aim to strengthen the viability and acceptance of ZiG. He emphasized the philosophy that “confidence cannot be legislated; it has to be earned.”

One of the key policies implemented under the leadership of Mushayavanhu is the convertibility of ZiG for legitimate foreign transactions. This policy allows for essential payments such as school fees or import duties to be made directly in ZiG, highlighting its credibility as a currency. The ability to use ZiG for such transactions is a strategic move aimed at rebuilding confidence among citizens and foreign investors, ensuring that the currency is not just a legal tender but also a practical and reliable unit of exchange.

Another major economic reform that has been implemented is the removal of the 10% markup on the interbank rate charged by retailers. This markup has been one of the causes of high prices of goods and services when priced in the local currency, reducing the purchasing power of consumers and undermining their trust in the country’s economic system. By eliminating this surcharge, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe intends to stabilize prices and enhance the quality of life, making basic goods and services more affordable for ordinary Zimbabweans. This measure is expected to alleviate inflationary pressures and improve the stability of the currency.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has implemented broad policies that mandate key sectors, such as fuel operators, to accept the local currency, known as the ZiG. This move aims to ensure that the currency circulates widely and gains traction in essential economic activities. Additionally, the RBZ has given assurances that substantial reserves, including gold and cashback ZiG. By linking the currency directly to tangible assets, the RBZ intends to protect it from speculative attacks and volatility, thereby fostering a stable economic environment.

Mushayavanhu has shown a strong commitment to maintaining the autonomy and integrity of the central bank during his tenure. He has even declared that the bank will not engage in quasi-fiscal operations under his watch. This positions him as a central banker who is dedicated to monetary discipline, which is important in projecting confidence and stability. It assures both local and international observers that transient political pressures will not influence the RBZ or engage in practices that could destabilize the currency.

Despite these positive strides, challenges persist, particularly around the illegal trading of foreign currencies. While the government has tried to crack down on these activities through the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and other enforcement measures, these efforts have only provided short-term relief. Historical precedents during the multi-currency era suggest that the elimination of demand for black-market currency exchange is a more effective solution. This can be achieved by creating a robust economic environment where ZiG is widely accepted and trusted, thereby naturally displacing illegal traders.

For a more sustainable and effective resolution, authorities are encouraged to employ strategies of moral persuasion and align their policies with the economic realities on the ground. This involves setting regulatory frameworks that genuinely incentivize the use of ZiG, such as charging duties and taxes in the currency, thereby embedding it deeply into the economic fabric of Zimbabwe.

As the first few weeks of implementing the measures unfold, it seems that ZiG is slowly gaining the public’s confidence. However, the true measure of success will lie in its sustained acceptance and the establishment of a stable monetary environment. To achieve this, it is important to remain vigilant, adapt to changes, and commit to transparency from the RBZ.

The efforts to stabilize and popularize ZiG are complex and require a multifaceted approach. Mushayavanhu’s policies and the RBZ’s strategies are crucial in steering Zimbabwe towards a more stable financial future. By continuously adapting to economic challenges and ensuring that the currency is backed by real value, ZiG has the potential to emerge as a credible and stable currency, gradually earning the essential confidence of its users. This process of building trust and stability in ZiG underscores a fundamental truth in economics: genuine confidence in a currency is earned through consistent and sound financial governance.


Source: Newsday

You may also like

white logo with motto

The Zimbabwe Advocate is more than just a news outlet. We are a movement, a symbol of resistance against misinformation.

Latest News

© 2024 The Zimbabwe Advocate. All Rights Reserved.