New Zimbabwe (London)

Zimbabwe: Chinamasa Quashes Z$ Speculation

FINANCE Minister Patrick Chinamasa on Thursday ruled out the return of the Zimbabwean dollar talk of which had been revived by the country's worsening cash shortages.

Rendered worthless as inflation hit 230 million percent, the Zimbabwean dollar was finally ditched in 2009 in favour of the more stable United States dollar, South African Rand and the Botswana Pula.

Presenting a US$4,4 billion budget for 2014, Chinamasa said there was no truth to media reports suggesting a possible return of the unpopular local currency.

"(On Wednesday) there was another headline saying Fidelity is recruiting to bring back the Zim-Dollar; the truth of the matter is that it was recruiting to refine gold and it started refining gold on Tuesday 17 of December," Chinamasa said.

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe subsidiary, Fidelity Printers Limited (Fidelity) recently recalled contract workers raising speculation that the company was preparing to print the Zimbabwean dollar as the country's liquidity crunch continues.

Chinamasa said since the year 2000, the economy had undergone profound structural changes giving examples of the informalisation of the economy and the tobacco sector which he said had registered a growth in the number of farmers.

"In 2000 the crop (tobacco) was grown by about 2000 large scale farmers the fact is that tobacco is now grown by 90,000 small scale farmers," Chinamasa said.

He added: "The headline yesterday (Wednesday) which proclaimed that the economy was dead ... the truth is that it's the old economy which is dead. A new economy is emerging and we have successfully killed the old economy."

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