UCF Global Perspectives


Zimbabwe Bans Foreign Currencies

Lee Ajisafe, High School Intern, Africa

June 27, 2019

On Monday, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube announced that the Zimbabwe dollar will be the only legal tender in the country (AP). Since 2009, people and local businesses have been using foreign currencies in response to the country’s hyperinflation (AP). President Emmerson Mnangagwa stated that the economy was “now functional enough” to use its own currency again (AP). In February, the government introduced a transitional currency called the Real Time Gross Settlement Dollar (RTGS), or the “zollar;” however, Ncube announced that the zollar will become the official and sole currency of Zimbabwe (BBC, Aljazeera).

Reports claim Mnangagwa expressed confidence in the adoption of the zollar, dubbing it a “return to normalcy” (AP); nevertheless, Zimbabweans are reportedly skeptical (Reuters 1). Analysts say Zimbabwe’s banks do not have the foreign currency reserves to back the new currency (Reuters 1). The zollar suffers from rapid devaluation, often drastically changing its value multiple times a day (AP). Businesses have resorted to buying zollars from the black market to conduct business legally (AP). The president of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, Peter Mutasa, stated that the government should reverse the policy, or it will “mobilise workers for mass action” (Reuters 2).







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