VP Mnan­gagwa as­sures na­tion

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Harare Bureau

THE im­pend­ing in­tro­duc­tion of bond notes is not an at­tempt by Gov­ern­ment to sneak back the Zim­babwe dol­lar, Vice Pres­i­dent Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa has said.

VP Mnan­gagwa said the planned in­tro­duc­tion of bond notes as a medium of ex­change was the most top­i­cal is­sue in the coun­try at the mo­ment.

“I want to as­sure busi­ness and the gen­eral pop­u­lace that bond notes are not go­ing to re­place the multi-cur­rency bas­ket that we are al­ready us­ing,” VP Mnan­gagwa said.

The bond notes are ex­pected to be launched in early Novem­ber as an ex­port in­cen­tive of 2,5 per­cent and 5 per­cent.

“In fact, the notes are com­ing in as an in­cen­tive to our ex­porters who play the crit­i­cal role of bring­ing United States dol­lars into the econ­omy,” he ex­plained.

VP Mnan­gagwa said it was time Zim­bab­weans started trust­ing each other’s in­ten­tions.

He made the re­marks at the of­fi­cial open­ing of the in­au­gu­ral Na­tional Eco­nomic Sym­po­sium and launch of the 2016 Zim­babwe Na­tional Com­pet­i­tive­ness Re­port at Rain­bow Tow­ers, Harare, last week.

“The bond notes are backed by a $200 mil­lion Afrex­im­bank fa­cil­ity and should not be seen as try­ing to sneak back the Zim dol­lar be­fore the nec­es­sary con­di­tions for de-dol­lar­i­sa­tion are ful­filled,” said VP Mnan­gagwa.

Re­serve Bank of Zim­babwe Gov­er­nor Dr John Man­gudya has said bond notes, which will con­sti­tute less than 4 per­cent of bank de­posits in de­nom­i­na­tions of $2 and $5, will come into cir­cu­la­tion at the end of this month.

The notes will rank equal in value to the US dol­lar.

They will be ac­cepted as medium of ex­change only in Zim­babwe just like most re­gional cur­ren­cies.

The RBZ boss said the notes would cir­cu­late along­side other cur­ren­cies in­clud­ing the Bri­tish pound, South African rand, Botswana pula and Chi­nese yuan.

VP Mnan­gagwa also re­it­er­ated the call by Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe to shun cor­rup­tion as it painted Zim­babwe as an un­favourable des­ti­na­tion for in­vest­ment.

He said Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe set the tone for the fight against cor­rup­tion through point num­ber 9 of his State of the Na­tion Ad­dress to Par­lia­ment on Au­gust 25 last year.

The eco­nomic sym­po­sium, at­tended by sev­eral Gov­ern­ment Min­is­ters, of­fi­cials and cap­tains of in­dus­try and com­merce, was held un­der the theme “En­hanc­ing Na­tional Com­pet­i­tive­ness and Eco­nomic Pros­per­ity Through Dia­logu­ing.”

“It is Gov­ern­ment’s de­sire to elim­i­nate, by all means pos­si­ble, the stum­bling blocks that af­fect the smooth oper­a­tion of busi­ness in Zim­babwe with a view to cre­at­ing one of the most at­trac­tive, re­ward­ing and cher­ished in­vest­ment cli­mates in the world,” he said.

VP Mnan­gagwa said the Gov­ern­ment had come up with the Com­mand Agri­cul­ture pro­gramme to en­hance food se­cu­rity in Zim­babwe.

“The pro­gramme tar­gets 400 000 hectares with ex­pected min­i­mum out­put of 2 mil­lion tonnes of maize dur­ing the 2016/17 farm­ing sea­son.The pro­gramme will sup­port iden­ti­fied farm­ers with crop in­puts, ir­ri­ga­tion equip­ment and work­ing cap­i­tal at an ex­pected cost of about $515 mil­lion.” The in­puts are al­ready be­ing dis­trib­uted coun­try­wide in an­tic­i­pa­tion of a good rainy sea­son.

On man­u­fac­tur­ing, VP Mnan­gagwa said Gov­ern­ment had in June gazetted Statu­tory In­stru­ment 64 of 2016 which con­trols cheap im­ports to cush­ion lo­cal in­dus­try.

He said this had im­proved ca­pac­ity util­i­sa­tion in many com­pa­nies due to grow­ing de­mand for lo­cal prod­ucts.

“One of the suc­cess sto­ries that has made head­lines re­cently is that of Chlo­ride Zim­babwe, whose ca­pac­ity util­i­sa­tion has reached 100 per­cent from a very low level of 5 per­cent be­fore SI64.”

In terms of min­ing, he said, value ad­di­tion of min­er­als such as gold and di­a­monds was al­ready un­der­way and that the ob­jec­tive was to im­ple­ment a ben­e­fi­ci­a­tion plan for plat­inum min­ers.

The VP said gains had been noted in gold min­ing dur­ing the first half of the year while Gov­ern­ment was also sup­port­ing ac­tiv­i­ties of small min­ers with a $100 mil­lion mechanisation fa­cil­ity.

He said it was im­per­a­tive for Zim­babwe to com­pete against other economies.

VP Mnan­gagwa said Gov­ern­ment was in the process of set­ting up the Na­tional Com­pet­i­tive­ness Com­mis­sion and the Na­tional Pro­duc­tiv­ity In­sti­tute, with en­abling leg­is­la­tion and the board now at ad­vanced stages.

The ini­tia­tives form part of wide­spread re­forms to im­prove the coun­try’s ease of do­ing busi­ness to at­tract for­eign in­vest­ment. This dove­tails with ef­forts to im­ple­ment the Zim­babwe Agenda for Sus­tain­able So­cioe­co­nomic Trans­for­ma­tion cov­er­ing the pe­riod 2014 to 2018.

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