‘Currency measures will restore sanity in economy’ Dr Denford Mutashu

Business Reporter

The Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) says measures announced by President Mnangagwa to defend the local currency will restore sanity in the economy and arrest speculative tendencies.

Sources said yesterday the ban, expected to only be temporary, allows authorities to launch deeper investigations into potential malfeasance by some financial institutions in abetting attacks on the local currency.

The interventions by the Government sustained attacks on the Zimbabwe dollar, especially on the parallel market, which caused its depreciation and stocked resurgent inflationary pressures in the economy.

CZR president Denford Mutashu said in a statement yesterday, the measures announced by the President Mnangagwa had set the tone towards bringing sanity to the economy.

“CZR wishes to applaud the President Emmerson Mnangagwa for announcing a raft of measures meant to defend the local currency, arresting the current punishing parallel market exchange rate, stabilise prices, and contain inflation as well as bringing sanity to the economy on the back of rampant speculative behaviour.

“CZR will take advantage of the President’s open-door policy to engage and dialogue after taking input from the market in due course,” he said.

Most of the interventions seek to address issues around excessive liquidity into the economy, speculative borrowing from banks and trading on the stock market as well as  improve confidence in the operation of the foreign currency auction system.

He said CZR was committed to comply with the new interbank determined pricing directive while taking the opportunity to engage in any areas that may require attention during implementation.

Mr Mutashu said the suspension of bank lending will ensure authorities have sufficient time to have a clearer perspective on the dynamics behind the recent allegations of currency manipulation and abuse.

“It is therefore critical to note that each sector self-introspects and checks for deficiencies in the parallel market exchange rate by commission or omission,” he said.

He added that it begs no justification that the parallel market and shadow economy drive sentiment on the bulk of activities taking place in the economy, including pricing ahead of the formal economy.

“The measures should be implemented wholeheartedly while we engage the President and Government for any flexibility and input on matters arising.”

He noted that the commitment by the RBZ to settle all outstanding auction bids is also a welcome development as productivity will be guaranteed.

Mr Mutashu stressed that while complying with the measures, the country should not experience any shortages of basic goods, adding safeguarding capacity utilisation was key.

CZR’s mandate included promoting ethical and transparent business practice within the retail sector and aims to be the voice of retail and wholesale in Zimbabwe through lobbying and advocacy, he said.

The lobby group also promotes dialogue and maintains cordial relations with all retail stakeholders such as suppliers, customers and Government.

Captains of industry and economic analysts believe the raft of policy measures will underpin progress towards measured de-dollarisation of the economy.

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