Auxilia Katongomara Bulawayo Bureau—
Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa has said Government will not print bond notes outside of its framework with the Afrexim Bank, as it has a reputation to defend.
Speaking during a debate on the Reserve Bank Amendment Bill in Parliament on Tuesday, Cde Chinamasa said the bond notes will be printed up to $200 million, as per the facility that was concluded with the Afrexim Bank.
He said he was on cloud nine because the public had embraced bond notes.
“I also need to point out Mr Speaker Sir, that measures will be taken to ensure that we are disciplined in the issuance of bond notes,” said Minister Chinamasa. “We will do all within our powers to ensure that the process is transparent and do not go beyond what we have told the public.
“It is more important for us than it is for the public. We have a reputation to defend — the Central Bank Governor and myself — and we will not do any foolish things that will not even win us the votes.
“It is very important and the 2018 elections are around the corner. We cannot afford to do foolish things which we are being accused of. We are not foolish people; we will do the correct thing which will maintain the value of the bond notes.”
Cde Chinamasa said the bond notes were not introduced to address cash shortages, but to stop capital flight and they were already beginning to achieve that. He said with the introduction of bond notes, the country has moved away from an over-liberalised foreign exchange market to one which will be managed.
“That is already being implemented and I am very pleased with the results, I am also pleased with what is happening, we are now beginning to see redeposit of bond notes, which suggest that it is now accepted as a medium of exchange and circulating,” said Cde Chinamasa.
Most lawmakers who participated in the debate commended the introduction of the bond notes. “We have SMEs that are now operational because of the money that is available,” said Uzumba MP (Zanu-PF), Simbaneuta Mudarikwa. “Those that sell tomatoes and crotchet work are able to do so because there is money in circulation.”
Zanu-PF Matabeleland South Proportional Representation MP Rossy Mpofu said the bond notes were benefiting businesses. Hurungwe East legislator Sarah Mahoka (Zanu-PF) said people were happy following the introduction of the bond notes.
Article Source: The Herald