THE current cash crisis is set to deepen to unprecedented levels unless the government addresses the country’s economic fundamentals, the opposition Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe (RDZ) has warned.
The opposition party says failure by the government to curb corruption and promote transparency and accountability will see the complete disappearance of the US dollar, the currency Zimbabwe has mainly used since 2009.
“It is wishful thinking for Zimbabweans to think the current cash crisis will go away soon,” the party said in a statement.
“The long queues at the banks with citizens spending hours waiting for a paltry $30 is testimony that the Zimbabwean government has failed dismally on its mandate.
“It is sad that we have senior citizens, some of whom show visible signs of fatigue and distress who are being forced to commute daily to the banks, only to return to their homes empty handed.”
According to RDZ, the government rhetoric that the country uses multiple currencies contradicts the reality on the ground, where the US dollar remains the major currency as the Bond Notes are “slowly but, surely losing its value daily”.
“The disappearance of the US dollar has had adverse effects on the transacting public,” the party said.
“The government is failing to deal with corruption and its hand is clearly visible as there is selective application of the law.
“This has seen the emergence of cross rates and cash barons reappearing on the streets, a scenario which has the potential to result in an even bigger crisis which is a replica of the 2008 era.”
Zimbabweans have long struggled with cash shortages and a recent move by the government to introduce the so-called bond notes surrogate currency has failed to address the problems with queues remaining the order of the day at banks across the country.
“Late last year, the government of Zimbabwe introduced bonds as a way to curb cash shortages in the country,” said RDZ.
“But, on the contrary the situation even worsened before the first quarter of the year with maximum daily bank withdrawal reduced from $500 and $100 to $200 and $30 respectively.
“Prices of goods and services are sky rocketing with three prices being charged for the same item depending on how one is making the payment.
“Those using the US Dollars are charged the correct price, while those paying using bond notes pay a much higher figure despite the government indicating that the two currencies have equal value.”
RDZ added; “Zimbabwe needs leaders with the people at heart not a bunch of ministers who fundraise and donate expensive watches, pens or massage chairs to the Zanu PF President, Robert Mugabe while its citizens are struggling to withdraw their hard-earned money.
“Zimbabweans cannot be held at ransom in exchange for bootlicking initiatives meant at ensuring that selfish politicians remain at the helm of power.
“We are calling on this Zanu PF leadership not to lose sleep over how to please their master, but to lose sleep over delivering on the promises they made to the masses.
“Shift priorities because the majority are languishing in abject poverty because of a failing system!”