Don’t panic says the President... Bond notes, RTGs balances are secure

PRESIDENT Mnangagwa has urged depositors not to panic over the value of their Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) balances and bond notes as there is no change in policy to warrant offloading them.

The President said this yesterday during a breakfast engagement with bankers and captains of industry and commerce at State House in Harare.

This comes amid heightened panic by depositors keen to get rid of their RTGS balances and bond notes by way of buying foreign currency on the parallel market and/ or buying whatever goods they can lay their hands on.

“While the country is going through difficult times, mainly because of lack of foreign currency to meet the growing demand for foreign exchange across all the sectors of the economy, I would like to assure you all that the current multi-currency system is here to stay.

“All your RTGS balances at banks and bond notes in circulation, are safe and secure. There should be no pressure to exchange or offload these balances as Government policy has not changed to warrant such anxiety,” said President Mnangagwa.

He said the “fear to lose wealth and savings” as happened at the peak of the 2008 economic challenges was unnecessary.

The President said he appreciates and understands the concerns of citizens and the Government was working round the clock to stabilise the economy.

Some of the measures that Government has put in place to address economic challenges include suspension of Statutory Instrument 122 of 2017 to allow for the importation of basic goods to supplement local production, and raising funds required to support the huge demand for foreign currency associated with the end of year requirements by industry and commerce.

President of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) Professor Benedict Oramah, Senior Advisor Lazard Freres and Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, were in the country last Thursday to provide assurances that the bank will provide Zimbabwe with the much-needed financial support.

As part of arresting economic challenges, Government is also putting in place measures aimed at reducing fiscal deficits that have continued to increase aggregate demand exerting pressure on foreign currency resources and the exchange rates.

President Mnangagwa said the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe have been directed to come up with a framework to securitise the Government debt created by the issuance of Treasury Bills (TBs) in order to re-balance the debt obligation though various techniques and incentives.

The domestic debt has soared to $7,4 billion from $285 million in 2012, mainly spurred by the issuance of TBs.

“I therefore call upon all Zimbabweans to rally together and to work for the common good of the country. We have to have unity of purpose not divergent views. No scape-goating.

“We need to overcome these difficulties and put national interests ahead of personal interests. It is not in our national interest to spread fake news that is meant to tarnish our country and to bring anguish to others, that is not being patriotic.”

He urged citizens to remain steadfast as measures wer being taken to stabilise the supply of goods and services.