Zimbabwe’s President Vows to Defend Local Dollar He Brought Back

(Bloomberg) -- Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa vowed to defend the nation’s local currency on the eve of the southern African nation’s elections.

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Mnangagwa, 80, who is seeking a second term Wednesday, told the state-owned Zimpapers Television Network that the economy and Zimbabwe dollar in particular, are under “attack” from Western nations that are fostering instability so they can effect regime change. The currency was scrapped in 2009 after hyper-inflation rendered it worthless, and Mnangagwa presided over its reintroduction four years ago.

Western nations had imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe but when they didn’t have the desired effect, they “decided to continue their attack on the economy and on our currency,” Mnangagwa said. The government then “introduced measures that have reversed that attack. Now there is stability in the economy and in the currency. It has stabilized,” he said.

Read More: Odds Stacked Against Zimbabwe Opposition as Election Nears

The Zimbabwean dollar slumped more than 85% against the US dollar in May, before staging a turnaround after the Treasury introduced measures to boost the local unit’s demand including ordering corporates to pay taxes using the local currency. The Zimbabwe dollar officially trades at 4,568 Zimbabwe to the greenback, data on the central bank’s website shows.

“The Zimbabwe dollar is there to stay,” Mnangagwa said. “Every country to develop must have its own currency. It may be fought because of sanctions by those who want regime change, but I can assure you we shall continue to put measures to protect our currency.”

Other highlights:

  • The southern African nation has no capacity to store surplus wheat.

  • Mnangagwa has approved wheat exports by the agriculture ministry.

  • Zimbabwe has applied to join the BRICS bank.

  • Zimbabwe wants to join the BRICS block at a later stage.

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