Zimbabwe will soon get its own local currency, according to the country’s finance minister, Mtuli Ncube.
Ncube said on Friday in a town hall meeting that the southern Africa nation will re-introduce local currency in less than 12 months.
“On the issue of raising enough foreign currency to introduce the new currency, we are on our way already, give us months not years,” he said.
2019 marks 10 years since the country stopped printing its own currency after it was hit by the hyperinflation crisis that saw them adopt various foreign currencies including the dollar, the South African rand and the Euro.
In 2008, the Zimbabwean dollar became worthless after inflation increased to 500 billion per cent, the highest in the world in a country not facing war. Although the government introduced a surrogate bond note currency in 2016 to handle dollar shortages, it also collapsed in value.
Reports indicate that the country only has less than $400m in cash and that the shortage of the dollar is undermining efforts to attract foreign investors. Consequently, the country has been facing fuel scarcity and lack of cash.
On Sunday, President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced a sharp rise in fuel prices as a way to improve supplies in a country struggling with the worst gasoline shortages in a decade.
The shortage that started late October 2018 has seen motorists spending nights in queues stretch for kilometres. Zimbabweans have been complaining about the crisis and general status of economy, but they have been warned by the president not to take advantage of the situation “to cause and sponsor unrest and instability in the country” over the fuel scarcity.