PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T party has dismissed calls for the return of the Zimbabwe dollar and demanded a new “genuine” empowerment policy instead of the current “asset stripping and self aggrandizement” by members of an already wealthy black elite
President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party recently said the coalition government would be instructed to re-instate the Zimbabwe dollar which was ditched in 2009 after being rendered virtually worthless by world-record inflation.
The calls were backed by central bank chief, Gideon Gono who said a return of the currency was feasible adding: “The form and manner as well as the resumption of the proposed new Zimbabwe dollar or whatever it will be called will obviously take into account our national reserves in terms of strategic and precious metals such as gold reserves for back up.”
But in resolutions passed at its national council meeting in Harare Saturday, the MDC-T said the current multiple currency regime would stay in place in the medium term.
“The party calls on Government to maintain the multi-currency system, maintain the Medium Term Plan (MTP) and categorically states that there will be no return of the Zimbabwe dollar in the short to medium term,” the party said.
The party also blasted the empowerment model being pushed by Mugabe’s Zanu PF party, dismissing it as “asset stripping, looting, patronage, clientelism, corruption and self aggrandizement”.
The MDC-T said the country need a fresh programme that balanced empowerment with the need to attract investment and grow the country’s economy.
“The party restates that Zanu PF’s programme … is based on a narrow model of transferring shares to a few black elite that can afford them and does not amount to genuine wealth creation and distribution,” the party said.
“The (MDC-T) therefore calls for the starting afresh of the whole programme and the development of a genuine broad-based upliftment programme which balances the need to attract investment, grow the economy and create jobs.”
Under the current approach foreign-owned companies are required by law to transfer ownership of at least 51 percent of their shareholding to clack locals.
Zanu PF insists the programme will help economically empower the country’s previously marginalised back majority.
But critics say the policy risks harming the country’s economy by undermining much-needed foreign investment.
Gono also called for a re-think of the approach arguing the current model would only benefit a select few.
Source: New Zimbabwe