Zanu PF ‘gatecrashes’ ZiG campaigns

Source: Zanu PF ‘gatecrashes’ ZiG campaigns -Newsday Zimbabwe

GOVERNMENT has engaged Zanu PF leaders and war veterans to support the use of the new currency, Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG), as it pulls out all stops to stem the sabotage of the local currency.

Zanu PF is running its parallel currency campaign after the government also announced that it was launching awareness campaigns early this month.

 

 

The ruling party has dispatched its senior officials including members of the politburo and central committee who are leading campaigns in their respective provinces to convince people to accept the new currency.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has also partnered the Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services ministry to conduct joint awareness campaigns on the currency, supported by other key stakeholders.

Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion minister Mthuli Ncube, who is also a Zanu PF politburo member, called on war veterans to come on board to fight the people that are sabotaging the economy.

He made the remarks when he addressed former members of the 1970s liberation struggle in Entumbane Bulawayo on Sunday this week.

 

Ncube said the police had arrested at least 70 people for contravening the Exchange Control Act.

“War veterans should assist in the fight against those who are sabotaging the ZiG. You are the ones who fought during the liberation struggle; you must fight for the ZiG so that it can have a value that is dependable.

“The illegal money changers should be dealt with. Our intention is that we end up having our own currency and do away with the multicurrency system. There is no country that has succeeded without its own money,” Ncube said.

 

 

He said the government had taken an initiative to reduce interest rates to 20% per annum from 130% to make it easy for people who want to borrow in ZiG.

“It’s now lower and it’s much easier to repay. We do not have any bank charges on deposits, our currency should remain there. As we gather here to honour your legacy, it is incumbent upon us to ensure that your sacrifices are never forgotten.

“We must preserve and protect the memory of the liberation struggle, passing it on to future generations as a reminder of the price of freedom,” Ncube said.

Ncube’s call comes a day after Zanu PF Bulawayo chairperson Jabulani Sibanda told attendees during a ZiG community engagement drive that the war of liberation was  fought so that  Zimbabwe would have its own currency.

“We fought and gained independence that gave us control over our economy and it is high time we support a currency that will grow our own economy.

“This is important because over the years we have been a consuming country, which is not producing and we need to start producing and one of the fundamentals towards that is having our own currency.

“Money is the most important thing in the country. We were gifted with vast natural resources and the only way we can trade them is through currency.

“You will remember that when we were colonised, we were stripped even of the power to control our economy. The economy was designed for the 300 000 white settlers at the expense of the seven million natives.”

ZiG, launched last month, is seen as a step towards the use of the local currency at a time when eight out of 10 transactions are carried out in United States dollars.

The push for the use of ZiG  has seen the government legislating punitive fines for those that sabotage the currency with banks putting limits on transfers and purchases using debit cards.

Plain-clothes police officers have been deployed in major supermarkets where arrests have been made on people allegedly undermining ZiG.

The police blitz comes as Zanu PF national secretary for finance Patrick Chinamasa has warned party members against dealing in foreign currency illegally saying there would be no immunity for anyone caught on the wrong side of the law.

Chinamasa said this while addressing party members at the party’s provincial co-ordination committee meeting held in Mutare on Saturday.

“It is now up to us. Let’s be a good example. Right now, if we call the police for a search, we will see that most of you do not have ZiG but you only have US dollars,” he said.

“If we want people to be arrested they can be arrested. No one will be immune to arrest, this is the truth. So take the time to transform yourselves and not get arrested. We have to be honest and understand each other.”

Chinamasa said the current ZiG shortages were temporary.

“We will wait and hear from our leadership to guide us on the roadmap on addressing the currency issue. We are transitioning from the multi-currency system to ZiG that is backed by tonnes of gold among other minerals at RBZ vaults,” he said.

Chinamasa also blamed opposition parties for trying to destabilise and sabotage the economy through the establishment of the thriving black market.

Police last week arrested Women Affair minister Monica Mutsvangwa’s son, Neville, on charges of illegally dealing in foreign currency and money laundering.

In Harare, Zanu PF provincial chairperson Godwills Masimirembwa revealed that the party’s leadership in the province met with officials from the RBZ and confirmed that they were meeting with Zanu PF supporters to enlighten them about ZiG.

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