Zimbabwe Imports US Dollars: Kukumbira Mombe Kuti Tirime Munda Wedu
Zimbabwe has been using the USA dollar as one of its trading currencies for sometime. The other day it was reported in the local press that the finance minister Tendai Biti had struck a deal with United States financial institutions to import millions of dollars in coins and new bank notes.
As most people know the quality of USA notes circulating in Zimbabwe is not the best. The notes are so bad that those that carry the older notes into the USA have a tough time convincing shop owners that it’s genuine money. Automated machines to buy bus and train tickets simple reject these notes.
There’s a time when then finance minister Dr Simba Makoni had advocated for the use of more coins to cut down on the cost of printing Zimbabwe note (remember the time we didn’t have enough paper and the ink to print our money ) this was met with a lot of laughter in parliament and the idea never really took off. Perhaps now Biti can ask for more coins than notes from the Americans who themselves use a lot of $1, 25c, 10c, 5c, 1c.
However the real issue here is the fact that Zimbabwe continues to use another country’s currency. The USA has commoditized its currency and before you know it we may be buying it .If we as Zimbabweans now have negotiate to get new USA currency, what if one day the Americans says we now need to be paid 3% to give Zimbabwe new notes what will we do? Where is the economic freedom? Do we not find ourselves beating a path back to the same people we want we though we could do without?
Someone suggested that if that happens in retaliation we will reduce the value of the USA dollar in Zimbabwe so that it affects the value of the USA dollar world wide. But that would immediately increase inflation in Zimbabwe in any case the amount of USA dollar in Zimbabwe is really insignificant to do that is why the USA allows Zimbabwe to use it.
Just to give a little perspective New York City alone has business transactions valued at about $1 billion a day with the NY stock exchange doing about a $100 billion worth of transaction a day. The Zimbabwean total revenue collection for 2012 is expected to be USA 3.4 billion so in the grand scheme of things the USA dollars circulating in Zimbabwe counts for little.
Another suggestion was to increase use of the rand, we love our South African brothers but I don’t think we want to be dependant on them so much we become an extension to them. I think if we are going to be talking of development and progress in Zimbabwe the issue of our currency has to be high on that agenda because the longer we continue to depend on foreign currencies the harder it will be for us to be truly economically independent. Hatingarambe tichienda panext-door kuno kumbira mombe kuti tirime munda wedu.