Govt rules out rand adoption

Source: Govt rules out rand adoption | The Herald February 3, 2017

Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
Government will not adopt the South African rand, nor will it reintroduce the Zimbabwe dollar until macro-economic fundamentals are addressed, legislators heard yesterday.

Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa said it was not prudent for the Government to adopt the rand as its official currency when it had no control over its exchange rate.

Minister Chinamasa said this in the National Assembly while responding to concerns by lawmakers during a debate on the Finance Bill.

The Bill seeks to give legal effect on several fiscal measures he announced in the 2017 National Budget.

Dangamvura Chikanga MP Cde Esau Mupfumi (zanu-pf) had implored Government to use the rand and the local unit.

“On the currency issue, we are not going to adopt the rand because we are not involved in the decision making of its value, whether it depreciates or appreciates,” said Minister Chinamasa.

“If it appreciates, we become the most expensive country. The route we are taking is that we are working on addressing macro-economic fundamentals such as raising exports, increasing reserves like three months cover and so on. We will not reintroduce our own currency until we address these fundamentals.”

Glen Norah MP Mr Webster Maondera (MDC-T) complained about the hiking of the level of fines for various crimes, saying it fuelled corruption, especially at police roadblocks.

Mr Maondera said it was not prudent to raise funds at a time when several people were struggling to make ends meet.

He said there was no money in bank,s making it difficult to pay the fines.

Minister Chinamasa said it was strange that legislators were against measures Government was taking to combat crime.

“These are people breaching the law,” he said.

“You must be on my side and not on the side of those breaching the law and say ‘No do not touch them,’ and yet you are legislators, we should be putting our heads together.”

Minister Chinamasa castigated lawmakers complaining about several levies and taxes being imposed on people, saying if Government did not do that, it would not be able to provide services, including paying salaries.

“Do not protect sources of taxes,” he said. “Citizens’ first obligation is to pay taxes so that you can sustain your Government for it to pay for education, health and all that you are complaining, that it is being underfunded.

“Who should I tax? I cannot tax foreigners, but whoever is earning, that is the thing we need to understand.”

Meanwhile, Speaker of the National Assembly Advocate Jacob Mudenda warned legislators against creating a quorum crisis because they would have walked out of the Chamber.

He said they had a constitutional duty to discharge in Parliament.

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