Fidelity ordered to print more money
ordered the Reserve Bank-owned Fidelity Printers to print $250
fortnight ago to be injected into the market in a bid to have more
its disposal as the election draws near, the Zimbabwe Independent
Central bank sources this week confirmed Fidelity Printers
had been ordered
to ratchet up its printing schedule to make available money
to borrow for use in its electoral
Government, whose coffers are virtually empty due to an
for cash, borrows from the domestic market to finance its
the years a very thin line has separated government and
ruling Zanu PF
operations, with the party given unlimited access to the
The government's use of its overdraft facility with the central
intensified with its latest borrowings accumulating to nearly $10
a single week last month. Government borrowing through the
facility represents the creation of money since it would be
against non-existent assets. This spurs money supply growth and
aggregate demand in the economy since there would be too much money
The Independent understands Fidelity Printers staff
were up until last week
working around the clock, Monday to Friday, to feed
the demand for cash. On
Saturdays and Sundays they break in the evenings,
only to resume the cycle
on Mondays. From last week the printers were working
up to 11pm.
"We do not know what has caused this sudden demand for more
cash on the
market or where the money is going. It is not our business to
ask, and we
are now working 24-hour shifts to meet the set targets," said a
The source said the round-the-clock shift came
into play just before the
farm invasions got under-way.
"It is as if
government needed the money urgently. This has not been seen at
Printers that people go for three months on a 24-hour shift," the
Since February, Fidelity has printed over $30 billion to service
government overdraft, over and above its target.
"In the past, the
printers would maybe work up till midnight to meet certain
set targets. If
the need arose, a 24-hour shift was effected, but it never
ran for more than
two weeks at most."
The central bank source said government usually
printed money against
available goods and services.
"This has now gone
out the window. We are printing money on the advice of
the powers that be,"
A spokesman for the RBZ said this week Fidelity Printers were
hours since February, with additional hours only on a need
basis. He denied
there was a marked increase in the need for
"Cash withdrawals and deposits from our customers have been normal.
demand for cash is attributable to a number of factors, among
inflation, that is, the generalised increase in the price of goods
services," the RBZ spokesman said.
"Fidelity Printers does not
mint money to service government's overdraft. In
terms of the Reserve Bank
Act, we are the sole issuers of notes and coin in
Zimbabwe. For your
information, government overdraft is far less than the
figure suggested by
you," he said.