VP speaks on bond notes ‘In­tro­duc­tion meant to avoid con­tin­ued pil­fer­age’

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Lloyd Gumbo in GENEVA, Switzer­land

VICE Pres­i­dent Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa says Govern­ment may come up with a pol­icy that bond notes be ex­clu­sively used for cer­tain trans­ac­tions as a way of en­cour­ag­ing their us­age while at the same time no one will sep­a­rate bank ac­counts for bond notes and for­eign cur­rency.

The Vice Pres­i­dent, who is here for the Uni­ver­sal Pe­ri­odic Re­view meet­ing of the United Na­tions Hu­man Rights Coun­cil, said this yes­ter­day when he ad­dressed Zim­bab­wean em­bassy staff based here on de­vel­op­ments back home.

VP Mnan­gagwa touched on var­i­ous topics rang­ing from politics, so­cio-eco­nomic pro­grammes that Govern­ment was im­ple­ment­ing and its drive in fight­ing cor­rup­tion in line with Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe’s 10-Point Plan for Eco­nomic Growth that he enun­ci­ated dur­ing his State of the Na­tion Ad­dress last year.

He said Govern­ment was in­tro­duc­ing bond notes to avoid con­tin­ued pil­fer­age and abuse of the US dol­lar.

Said VP Mnan­gagwa: “The US dol­lar is a re­serve cur­rency. It is a pre­cious cur­rency to most coun­tries in the world. It’s for in­ter­na­tional trans­ac­tions. Haisi yekutengesa ma­to­hwe, yekutengesa mav­isi, yekutengesa madora kana yekutengesa mazhanje. That is only found in Zim­babwe. It’s a unique coun­try, which is abus­ing the US dol­lar. We said we must use the US dol­lar for the pur­pose we de­signed it.

“We needed to find a mode of trans­ac­tion that is do­mes­tic be­cause if you put $200 mil­lion into Zim­babwe to­day, after a few days, it’s all taken out. It is not even go­ing through the bank­ing sys­tem. Some even smug­gle it through tyres.”

VP Mnan­gagwa said Govern­ment then dis­cussed with Afrexim Bank for a $200 mil­lion fi­nan­cial cover for the bond notes.

He said in the quest to curb cap­i­tal flight, Govern­ment in­tro­duced bond notes to en­sure that they were only used in Zim­babwe. “But we peg it to the US dol­lar so that we don’t have one ac­count for the bond notes and an­other ac­count for US dol­lars. It is the same ac­count. We first tested the wa­ters with bond coins. Ini­tially, they were re­sisted but now they are on de­mand. “Down the line, it’s pos­si­ble that we might even say cer­tain trans­ac­tions or cer­tain pay­ments in the sys­tem shall be done with bond notes so that if some peo­ple come from out­side and sell on the Zim­bab­wean market, they are now forced to go to the bank be­cause they can­not carry the bond notes out­side. “They have to put the money into the bank and trans­fer nor­mally so we will now know how much is go­ing out and how much is be­ing kept in. We will be able to know the cir­cu­la­tion of money. We will know of the vol­umes of the cir­cu­la­tion of money. This is a mode of trans­ac­tion to fa­cil­i­tate liq­uid­ity within the coun­try and have a lim­i­ta­tion on the ex­por­ta­tion of the cur­rency,” said VP Mnan­gagwa. He said Statu­tory In­stru­ment 64 of 2016 that was in­tro­duced by In­dus­try and Com­merce Min­is­ter Mike Bimha to reg­u­late im­ports had started bear­ing fruits with the im­port bas­ket dras­ti­cally re­duc­ing from $6 bil­lion to around $4 bil­lion. The VP Mnan­gagwa said some lo­cal com­pa­nies’ ca­pac­ity util­i­sa­tion had in­creased to be­tween 80 and 100 per­cent as a re­sult of SI 64 of 2016. He said com­mand agri­cul­ture was also ex­pected to help in eco­nomic re­cov­ery. On cor­rup­tion, he said Govern­ment would not re­lent in fight­ing the scourge as set out by Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe. “The of bur­den fight­ing cor­rup­tion rests with ev­ery sin­gle min­istry and min­is­ter, ev­ery sin­gle paras­tatal and en­tity and ev­ery sin­gle com­pany en­gaged in the econ­omy.

“This is what we are preach­ing to­day. As we say, there is no­body above the law, every­one ex­cept the Pres­i­dent who in terms of the Con­sti­tu­tion, is im­mune to pros­e­cu­tion. All of us, we are all po­ten­tial prison­ers here. All of us, we have to sub­ject our­selves to our law. I can as­sure you, this is go­ing to be en­forced rig­or­ously,” he said.

The VP added that the Zim­babwe Anti-Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion had since been re­moved from the Min­istry of Home Af­fairs to fall un­der the Of­fice of the Pres­i­dent and Cab­i­net to give it strength and re­spectabil­ity.

VP Mnan­gagwa said sev­eral in­fras­truc­tural projects were un­der way while oth­ers were to be con­cluded soon.

He said the Min­istry of In­for­ma­tion, Me­dia and Broad­cast­ing Ser­vices was also work­ing flat out erect­ing trans­mit­ters to en­able ev­ery cor­ner of the coun­try to have ac­cess to tele­vi­sion and radio sig­nals. “We are so op­ti­mistic about where we want to go. We are so op­ti­mistic that we shall achieve the goals we have set for our­selves to achieve. Most im­por­tantly, wher­ever we are, we preach unity, peace and love. That is what we preach about ev­ery time, even God is happy when we demon­strate love and not hate,” said the Vice Pres­i­dent.

On politics, VP Mnan­gagwa said Zanu-PF con­tin­ued to be peace­ful and sta­ble win­ning more than 30 par­lia­men­tary con­stituen­cies and los­ing only one.

He said Zanu-PF would be host­ing the 16 An­nual Na­tional Peo­ple’s Con­fer­ence in Masvingo in the sec­ond week of De­cem­ber where the rev­o­lu­tion­ary party was ex­pected to fo­cus on re­view­ing its res­o­lu­tions from the last con­fer­ence in Victoria Falls last year.

VP Mnan­gagwa said Zanu-PF amended a clause in its Con­sti­tu­tion that pro­vided that one of the VPs must be a woman after re­al­is­ing that it was in con­flict with the Unity Ac­cord that was signed be­tween Zanu and PF Zapu in 1987.

He said, how­ever, the Women’s League wanted the clause to be put back but will only be en­ter­tained at the next Zanu-PF Congress in 2019.

VP Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa

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