Zim central bank allays fears of basic goods shortages
Harare – The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has allayed growing fears that there will be a shortage of basic commodities due to the current foreign currency shortages.
Zimbabwe once experienced shortages of basic commodities during the hyper-inflation era ending 2008, which only abated after the introduction of the multi-currency system in 2009.
And because of the worsening foreign currency situation, Zimbabweans have started panicking, resulting in messages circulating on social media platforms urging people to stock up on basic commodities before they run out.
But, RBZ governor Dr John Mangudya dismissed the messages, saying these were meant to cause panic and despondency.
“Peddling of such fake news is quite unfortunate. There are no shortages of basic commodities. On the contrary, foreign exchange currently being allocated for basic and essential commodities has instead been increased to ensure that shortages of commodities do not occur within the economy,” he said in a statement.
“Zimbabweans should refuse to be hoodwinked by fake social media statements designed to increase premiums on the parallel markets by misguided rent seekers.”
The governor added; “In addition, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development did not print bond notes to buy U.S. dollars from the streets. Such malicious statements are counter-productive and are meant to sabotage the economy that is on the rebound on account of the good agricultural out-turn, strong performance of the mining sector and the recovery of the manufacturing sector.”
Zimbabwe is battling to contain a cash crisis, caused by externalisation and hording among other things, which has resulted in the resurrection of the money changing business which had ended after the introduction of the multi-currency system.
Dealers buy hard currency (USD) at a premium of up to 30 percent – for bank transfers.
On a cash to cash exchange basis, $100 for example, will earn the seller $108 in bond notes despite the fact that the USD and the surrogate currency were supposed to trade at par. Bond notes were introduced last year, to alleviate the cash shortages. – New Ziana