Zimbabwe dollar a ‘stupid idea’, Biti

via Zim dollar a ‘stupid idea’, Biti | SW Radio Africa by Mthulisi Mathuthu on Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Former finance minister Tendai Biti, has warned against the re-introduction of the local currency saying doing so would be the ‘stupidest’ thing for the ZANU PF government to do.

Biti’s comments come after a South Africa newspaper reported recently that the government was secretly working on re-introducing the Zimbabwean dollar. The Mail & Guardian said the aim would be to escape a ‘funding crisis that now threatens to undermine government operations.’

However, Biti told SW Radio Africa’s Cutting Edge programme that the Zimbabwean dollar stood to be rejected yet again by the market. He said:

‘‘While it will be stupid to bring back the Zimbabwean dollar let us remember that ZANU PF is known for doing stupid things. There is nothing that can stop them from printing the Zimbabwean dollar; they can print trillions of that but how will they get them into the market? They might force it on the civil servants but all service providers will reject that money.’

He added: ‘There is no country in the world that has dollarized involuntarily like we did that has been able to get back to its own currency. They tried it in Cuba that failed.’

Biti said Zimbabwe was faced with a serious economic crisis caused by lack of revenue, capital flight, distortion in the balance of payments and over borrowing. Capital flight is when money or assets rapidly flow out of the country as a consequence of an economic situation. Balance of payments is the difference in total value between payments into and out of a country.

According to Biti, at the moment the ratio of exports to imports is 7:1 meaning that for every dollar that is coming into the country seven dollars is going out. He said:

‘That has created a serious liquidity crisis because more money is going out than is coming in’

Biti said the situation has been worsened by the fact that billions of dollars have left the banks and the stock exchange. Moreover the government is collecting less in the form of revenue due to shrinking economic activity. As a result he said, the government has been borrowing to finance the wage bill. Biti said since August last year government has borrowed over $600 million for salaries and the lenders were no longer willing to continue.

Biti added that Zimbabwe needs a ‘caretaker government’ which will rescue the economy from further collapse. He said among the core tasks for that government would be to freeze unnecessary expenditure, repeal the ‘unfriendly’ indigenisation laws and re-engage with the West, including the International Monetary Fund.

 

Tagged with:
Posted in the latest articles
26 comments on “Zimbabwe dollar a ‘stupid idea’, Biti
  1. Jono Austin says:

    zanu are cornered. I will not be surprised if Mugabe steps down soon and whoever follows will talk about new beginnings, engagement with our friends in the West, all Zimbabweans must come together we are one family, water under the bridge, etc etc. They will have to do this as they are in a deep hole and there is no way out unless they get outside help which is not coming from the much heralded East evidently.

    • John Thomas says:

      You are very optimistic Jono. I think Mugabe is a “bitter ender”

      • NBS says:

        Me too! A bitter ender. He has nightmares at night about his old pals Saddam and Quadaffi. Oh yes and also that one from Romania. What was his name? Ceausceau I think!

    • mandy says:

      What is a caretaker government?
      Is this the idea that you were throwing on the negotiating table from 2007 to 2013 Mr. Tendai Biti? Surely, if they are the ideas of your soon to be launched MDC Team then Zimbabweans we have a problem. What are the guarantees that at the end of the term of the so called care taker government Zimbabwean elections will not be rigged again? Unless if you are like Museveni of Uganda who sees his government in total perpetuity. At least think before you open your mouth Tendai.

  2. Senzachena says:

    The Chinese are not so stupid as to pour money into a bottomless pit. They will want a return on any loans and I am sure they are fully aware that Zimbabwe is on the verge of becoming a totally failed state. As Jono says, Let the crunch come, get rid of the ancient geriatric murderer and let all good people come together to try and save what is left. Then maybe, just maybe there will be some hope for this beautiful country.

  3. thembani says:

    Every country has it;s own currency. Biti the only reason not to introduce the Zim$ is that ZANU is incapable of managing a monetary policy as witnessed through Gono’s management of the fiscus. Biti’s comments are misplaced or not completely true because even poorer countries than us have their own currencies as long as they manage monetary flows well.Economic performances will always vary.I don’t believe this is the time to introduce the Zim$ because the economy is running its self on auto pilot.When the economy has a manager then the Zim$ should be introduced.ZANu wants aquick solution by going back to printing.

    • The central bank is in charge of monetary policy primarily and not fiscus policy which is the responsibility of the government through the minister of finance. Gono was in charge of monetary policy, Thembani.

  4. John Thomas says:

    It will be a very long time before money printed by the government is trusted in this country, no matter who is in power. An alternative is to return to a system that worked very well in this country before. There was a time when the country had no central bank and the money was backed by Standard Chartered and Barclays. I thing almost all Zimbabweans would trust these two banks more than they trust the government. This is an easy solution.

  5. Tjingababili says:

    WHY WARN THESE FOOLS, BITI! LET THEM BRING IT BACK! IT WILL BE THEIR D….

  6. zim reeper says:

    When justice eventually comes to zims I hope the names of all the people who have benefitted from all the corruption are made to pay for their thieving ways.

    • NBS says:

      Not one of us will escape God’s judgement except through true repentance which is only found in Christ Jesus. ZPF WILL be judged. They refuse to repent! They refuse to confess their sins. There is, then only one end??????

  7. easily fooled says:

    The is another word to use instead of “stupid” Biti. By the way when do you grow up? Remember former minister of Finance, that this is student politics anymore. My daughter is also reading and following you. What kind of a leader do you want to be? A ROGUE leader like the Zanu Pf (Nigerians are corrupt; Jamaicans are drug addicts; gays are worse than dogs).

    Come on man, be serious

  8. Roving Ambassador says:

    Mugabe has no choice in this . He can not vacate office . The Junta and Grace,who are economic idiots, are in control.
    Desperation will make them make even more stupid decisions.
    Remember murambatsvina and half prize everything sager .
    Zanu’s problem is maintaining the civil service intact, this is the electoral rigging machine. They have got to find money to pay these chaps for the next 4 years.
    The growth of the informal sector is a thorn in their backside. It is more difficult to manipulate an independent electorate. But knowing Zanu, this will be portrayed as Zanu indigenisation policy.
    Hope the sleeping opposition is making people aware of all this.

  9. Rwendo says:

    In 1980, the question of ZANLA and ZIPRA was tackled via the assembly points. If we want to be free, we have to decapitate the armed forces, figuratively speaking. This should be our priority. Put a wedge between them and the generals and commissioners who rule us.

    Biti talks of people being “stupid.” How does a “caretaker government” and zero-ing in on fixing the economy help us? It would for sure help ZANU PF.

    There is no easy path if we are serious about taking power from this lot. Let ZANU PF rule on. Our nation is still largely asleep or in spectator mode.

    • Isu-zvedu says:

      I wonder how Biti sees stupidity in being who exactly we are instead of pretending Zimbabwe is now the US that can print US bills freely. Its not stupid sir Biti. It is stupidity of the highest order to pretend we are British when we clearly are not. It is this mindset that brought about the Cashberts who felt “left behind” in getting rich. Let us display our real selves by trading competitively at the international market with what we have instead of using foreign currency. We must not fear the return of the Zim$. Instead we should fear people like Gono who are being defended by Biti in these courts. Its very very stupid to be seen to be defending someone who brought us to where we are economically. Now our problem is about use of forex? Really? Why not blame the architects of corruption and evil, jail them and bring back sanity? I have lots to write about this, but I simply do not have time. Biti, not every Zimbo buys their groceries in downtown Joburg.

  10. dsct says:

    Rwendo et all who think a caretaker government is not the answer. I feel it is as no international donor will look at a Zanu-pf government because of its (awful & bloody) history. A removal of all the top brass (ie mafia godfathers) by a caretaker government will demonstrate good intent and that Zimbabwe is trying to help itself. Only then will the international donors step in. Remember the EU, USA etc had set aside a large budget for Zimbabwe for after the last election but quickly drew that back when it became obvious the result was fixed by a (very competent and able) Israeli Business.
    The only problem is Mugabe (and his miltary godfathers) will NEVER go peacefully. His history clearly demonstrates that.

  11. bruce koffe says:

    They failed to rig the economy, now they want to rig the currency by printing useless papers and steal all the real money. The people should not even accept this currency because it was demonetized in the previous budget. Beside the fundamental are not yet addressed to bring confidence in the economy or anywhere to bring in any money with brand of Zimbabwe. Returning to that currency will be suicidal and ZANU PF will loot and bag all the USD into foreign accounts abroad since the sanctions have been removed.

  12. Rwendo says:

    dsct. As things stand at present, there is no way the clique that rules us now would accept to be part of a caretaker government in which they do not control the reins of power.

    Some assistance in setting up a new government and new dispensation will be useful, to jump start to our economy. Streamlining of government and government bureaucracy, perhaps access to soft loans for our industrialist and farmers, through banks – not government. Setting up an efficient minerals marketing authority. Technical assistance less than hand outs.

    If we ever have a new beginning, I hope we find leaders who do not feel we need “Aid” and donor dependence to survive. Donor this, donor that. That type of Africa must go. We are well endowed as a country. Why hand outs? And how successful, how cost effective has this aid been, outside certain certain well defined initiatives. I want real Independence, for future Zimbabweans.

  13. Roving Ambassador says:

    I think this is the right time to set up a cabinet in exile that is in consultation with international financial institutions and governments in coming up with an economic blueprint for the after Zanu.
    News of this will give more hope and a resolve for the people to get rid of Zanu.
    Zanu has nothing to offer anymore. whats left is enough for Mugebe only.
    This exiled entity will just be a caretaker cabinet based in any of the good neighbours.
    We need to star moving now.
    Nkosana, Strive, Harare is calling.

  14. Mapingu says:

    I agree with most of Mr Biti says except for one thing, which is: “…..needs a caretaker government…”. I would need him to explain this thing in detail so that the likes of myself are better informed of this thing he is referring to.

    In short, Mr Biti really needs to do a lot of explaning to most Zimboz as to what he means by that. He might be correct, depending of what kind of animal he really has in mind that he calls”caretaker gvnt”. But one thing for sure is that animal must not in anyway resemble the so-called GNU in which Biti was a Minister of Finance. I think Biti & other former gvnt ministers will be the first once to admit that the GNU simply provided false and/or temporary stability and more importantly gave zanu pf breathing space to re-strategize come back more visciously. So, if anything the overarching achievement of the GNU was to prolong Zanu pf governance and the suffering of the majority.

    So for this things being proposed by Biti to find favour with most of us there should be a vast difference between it & the recently ended GNU. Better, it rather be a complete opposite of the GNU that we know from first-hand – anything short of that will merely be another concubinal association of the elite with no benefits to the long suffering masses of the country. With all due respect I refuse to accept that is the kind arrangement that Biti is advocating for – but he needs to spell out what he envisages. Surely, does not need another marriage of convenience of whatever nature.

    • mandy says:

      A former minister of finance who cannot explain himself at the first instance! Then Tendai Biti is a joke. It tell us that the stabilization that happened during the GNU was anchored elsewhere and not in this pseudo intellectual who opens his mouth before he engages his brain. He is more brawn than brain.

  15. Johnson@yahoo.com says:

    YEAH i AGREE WITH MR TENDAI BITI. We need a caretaker govt pending ZANY PAFA’s resignation because all they are doing is looting the economy. The current situation shows that the unity govt was a blessing, but all its good works achieved under serious constraints are now being eroded. ZANY PF wants the 2007-2008 situation to come back. We do not see any other desire from thier behaviour. They have self-destructive tendencies and object to any sane policy advice to replace their ZANY ideas of making easy money. What they forget is that to make money one must work. If the current trend is not arrested then we are going towards an innevitable precipice ‘vic falls type’. The world is watching and waiting. The Zimbos as usual are just spectators like the rest, as if they are wondering ‘what the hell is happening”. Zimbos are a very docile, educated, stupid And interesting species. They know the waiting game too much. Any one can abuse them and they think somehow the sitation will resolve itself. kikikikiiki FOOLISH DOCILE ZINMBOS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA!!!!!!!KIKIKIKIIKIKIIIIIIKIKIIIKIIIII

  16. Johnson@yahoo.com says:

    AT LEAST BITI IS THINKING ABOUT SAVING THE COUNTRY FROM THE ABYSS. THE ARRANGEMENT IS NOT IMPOSSIBLE BUT ITS SOMETHING TO START FROM. BITI DID A GOOD JOB DURING HIS TENURE. ON THE OTHER SIDE I HEARD GONO MIGHT FILL THE HIGHEST OFFICE. i HAVE NO OBJECTIONS BECAUSE GONO APPEARS TO BE VERY COOL, SANE, REASONABLE AND TOUGH – THE RIGHT MATERIAL FOR THE HIGHEST OFFICE COMPARED TO THE FRIVOLOUS, SHAKY AND THE CRUEL AND VINDICTIVE OPTIONS ON THE OFFING ELSEWHERE. GONO DID THE IMPOSSIBLE TO SAVE THE NATION WHEN IT WAS IN DEMISE AND SAVED THE ZANU PF SHIP FROM TOTAL ANNIHILATION WITH ALL THESE NOW NOISY FELLAS JUST SITTING AS THE PILOT ADEPTLY NEGOTIATED THE STORMY STRAITS. GONO IS A MAN…IF NOT THE MAN WHEN WE CONSIDER SERIOUS CREDENTIALS. HE IS AN ACE ON THE WRONG SIDE….HOWEVER HE MUST DO WHAT IS NECESSARY FOR HIS COUNTRY AS OUR NEXT PRESIDENT. PERSONALLY I WOULD VOTE FOR HIM BECAUSE HE MAKES SENSE…A LOT OF SENSE TO ME AND ALL WHO WISH ZIMBABWE WELL. I WISH MR GONO CAN BECOME THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE. MR MUGABE IS A BRIGHT GUY SURROUNDED BY CHAFF AND NATURAL SELECTION IS BECKONING. NOW WE NEED A STRONG NON – 2MOTIONAL LEADER…AND DR GIDEON GONO IS THE MAN, CONSIDERING THE OTHER OPTIONS BEING DISCUSSED…..DO IT MR PRESIDENT. DO IT FOR YOU NATION AND FOR EVERYONE WHO CARES FOR THIS NATION.MR PRESIDENT I WAS LOSING FAITH IN YOU BUT NOW I FEEL I CAN COME BACK HOME TO A RENEWED SANE ZANU PF AT 1980….NOT THE BULLET RIDDLED SHIP WE HAVE NOW WITH PROBLEMS CAUSED BY THE LIKES OF MADE JOE AND CHINAMASA, JOHNHO MOYO AND MANY OTHER CHARLATTANS WHO SEEM BENT ON TARNISHING THE GOOD NAME OF OUR PRESIDENT. IF MR MUGABE WANTS TO SAVE HIS LEGACY HE MUST PUT GONO ON THE HELM……NOW!!!! NOT LATER!!

  17. Smart Talk says:

    I have got one question that I need to ask Mr Biti now that you are out of government. Where did you get the money to conduct the elections in 2013. Is it still a top secret to divulge. I hope you were not also bribed during that period. Please tell us!!!!!

  18. Tiniel says:

    I agree with you Mr Biti, but all bows down to politics. These guys must embrace all stake holders to rescue our country. Things are tough and the right people must be appointed in the right positions and not patronage. Brain drain, serious unemployment, poverty etc just to cite a few is bedeviling our country. These brains are developing other countries economies.

  19. Dhonodzo says:

    Why are most comments targeted at “the” man and not his idea to resacitate the nation, surely if Zimbabweans are as educated they would contribute and not play the “man”. I one does not agree say your point and not be agressive

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>