Mugabe borrows from FCA’s

HARARE - The Zimbabwe government plans to introduce new regulations to allow it to temporarily borrow from foreign currency accounts (FCAs) of private organisations and individuals, in yet another desperate bid to lay its hands on whatever little hard cash is available in the country. Sources wit

hin the central Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) said the proposed new regulation that they said could be announced early next year would bring FCAs held by individuals and others such as non-governmental organisations within reach of President Robert Mugabe’s hard cash-strapped government.

If implemented as planned, the move would widen the sources of hard cash for the internationally-isolated Mugabe government, currently battling fuel, power and basic commodity shortages due to lack of foreign currency.

“The bank (RBZ) is currently working on the modalities of implementing the scheme. Details will be announced early in the New Year,” said a senior RBZ official, who asked to remain anonymous. It is envisaged that the government, through the central bank, would use the scheme to borrow funds from the FCAs which would be repaid after some time but with interest.

The southern African nation, once a regional economic tar, has seen export earnings this year decline by 6.4 percent to US$157 million while imports also fell by 2.6 percent to US$193 million, according to Murerwa, who last week presented the country’s 2006 national budget statement. Murerwa’s figures point to a contracting economy, barely able to meet its day-to-day import requirements. – ZimOnline

Inflation almost 600%
US$150 million from tobacco

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