Mugabe says he has been against dollarization in Zimbabwe

mugabe__biti.jpgHARARE -- Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has indicated that he would soon meet with the newly-appointed Minister of Finance Tendai Biti to discuss the status of the Zimbabwe dollar and the use of foreign currencies, New Ziana reported on Thursday.

"When it was first mooted, the idea of paying people in U.S. dollars, I
was against it and I still am because we just do not have enough
(foreign currency). It is a problem that confronts us even now," Mugabe
told local media during his traditional birthday interview at Zimbabwe
House on Wednesday.

"I do not see us adopting the rand as our main currency. Even in
SACU, the South African Customs Union, the members have their own
currencies even though they use the rand. Botswana has its pula,
Namibia has its dollar, Lesotho, Swaziland, they all have their own
currencies. But they base them on the rand and that is something that
we might consider doing here. At the moment we are using all
international currencies," he said.

The comments by the president come as SADC Finance ministers met in
South Africa on Wednesday to consider regional response to assist
economic recovery in Zimbabwe.

South Africa has since said Zimbabwe could adopt the rand as its
currency, but intensive consultations were to be carried out before
implementing the measure.

"Personally, I think we should revalue the Zimbabwe dollar in a
manner that fixes its relationship with the rand for a while. We will
protect it for a while, for a while as we increase production. But we
should protect it," he said.

"We do not expose it to fluctuations of the market. The problem is
that the people of Zimbabwe have become speculators. There are some
people who, if you say the (Zimbabwe) dollar is four to one with the
rand, they will immediately make it eight to one and 10 to one," he

"I want to discuss this with Biti. And how do you make it go?
Through production in agriculture, manufacturing, mining and the people
get goods and services and then we can expose it to the fluctuations of
the market," he said.


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