Thandeka Moyo Bulawayo Bureau
The country has been battling foreign currency shortages since the 1960s and needs export-orientated production to grow its economy, with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) introducing several financing packages to foster production across economic sectors. Speaking during a church service in Bulawayo on Saturday, RBZ deputy governor Dr Kupukile Mlambo said: “We want exports and production to grow; that’s the only solution for our situation.

“The scarcity of foreign currency dates back to 1960 and we are operating with added deficits accumulated since 2009.”

Dr Mlambo said the financing packages include a women’s empowerment fund worth $15 million, $10 million for business linkages and another $10 million for horticulture.

Part of the initiatives include a gold scheme worth $40 million, which has already been launched and the hospitality and tourism initiative meant to promote the generation of foreign currency.

Dr Mlambo said introducing the South African Rand will not solve the cash crisis facing Zimbabweans.

“The solution to Zimbabwe’s problem is not to adopt the Rand as the business people are saying, because the Rand is still foreign currency just like the US Dollar,” he said.

“Our major problem is that we do not export enough to be able to sustain the economy hence the cash crisis we are in.

“As RBZ, we do not print the US dollar and the only solution we came up with was to set up facilities to foster and promote production.”

Dr Mlambo urged members of the public, including those who go to church, to make use of the funds availed by RBZ to promote exports.

“Gold is our second source of cash and we would want to increase its production for exports,” he said.

“About $24 million of that fund has been used and those serious about mining should make use of their gold claims.

“The $15 million for women’s empowerment will be accessed through the Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development.”

Dr Mlambo said that since the RBZ did not print foreign currency, the only way to solve the problem would be to boost production.

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