Zimbabwe eases rules on foreign currency usage

08 Jul 2019

Just a week after ending the use of foreign currency as legal tender, the Zimbabwean government has alleviated some of the restrictions placed.
As Cision PR Newswire reports, this move forms part of its reform programme, which is targeting the opening of economic, political, and media spaces.
Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube revealed that the official interbank market would be able to determine the exchange rate, indicating more confidence in the interim currency, the RTGS dollar. The RTGS was announced to be Zimbabwe’s sole legal tender, consequently moving towards the relaunch of a fully-fledged currency by early next year.

Zimbabweans made use of the US dollar and some other currencies for a decade, following runaway money-printing and inflation of 500 billion percent which had led to the removal of the Zimbabwe dollar in 2009.
Since then, government revenue has risen and unnecessary spending has decreased thanks to the implementation of economic measures. This marks the first time in years that Zimbabwe has had a surplus budget and the country’s finances are being controlled again. In fact, just last week, the World Bank classified Zimbabwe as a lower middle-income country, from being previously known as a lower middle-income country. 

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has since focused on the implementation of structural reforms, such as the Media Commission Bill and Freedom of Information bill. 

Monica Mutsvangwa, the Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister spoke of the Media Commission bill, saying: "The ultimate objective is to emerge with a vibrant, non-polarised, diverse and pluralistic media sector which positively contributes to the deepening of the country's democratic processes.”