Zimbabwe: Workers Threaten Mass Action Over 'Ruinous' Scrapping of Multi-Currency

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U.S. dollars.
25 June 2019

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) has threatened government with mass action should it fail to dollarise the economy and pay workers in United States dollars.

Addressing a press conference in Harare today, ZCTU President Peter Mutasa said they are shocked that the announcement came a day after the Finance minister Professor Mthuli Ncube had assured the nation that the Zimbabwean dollar will only be introduced when macro-economic fundamentals are in place, adding that such important policies should have been subjected to dialogue before they are enforced.

"Such a critical move should have been subjected to intense dialogue, and it smacks of hypocrisy and is patronizing for the government to unilaterally make such a huge policy announcement at a time social partners were supposed to meet on Wednesday 26 June 2019 under the auspices of the recently enacted Tripartite Negotiating Forum (TNF)," said Mutasa.

He accused the government of taking Zimbabweans for granted by constantly lying when it introduced bond notes in 2016 as well as when they separated Nostro from local accounts.

"We would like to note that the government has been taking its people for granted for quite some time now, lying when it introduced the bond notes in 2016 that they were adequately backed by lines of credit from Afreximbank, that the 1:1 exchange rate between USD and RTGS$ were also backed by adequate lines of credit when they separated Nostro and RTGS foreign Accounts (FCA) in October 2018, and again that the inter-bank foreign exchange market would stabilize after its introduction in February 2019 on the back of unproven external lines of credit.

"These all proved to be false guarantees as the local currency could not hold against the USD and other foreign currencies," added Mutasa.

He expressed concern that government did not respect the fact that the TNF meeting which is scheduled for this week was an opportune moment to consult other stakeholders instead of hurriedly announcing policy measures that will affect workers who are pushing for foreign currency to cushion them from the current economic hardships.

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