- Currency trader.
President Robert Mugabe has announced that he will deploy the country’s brutal army and police to search homes for United States dollars which have disappeared from banks since elections in 2013 which opposition parties and diplomats said were rigged.
Mugabe claimed Zimbabweans were hoarding dollars in their houses, leading to the cash shortages which have crippled the economy.
“These houses are full of money. We will send in the police and the army. We’ll tell them, ‘Go ye house by house and dig up the funds that are hidden there. Don’t take the money for yourselves but tell us who’s got what’,” Mugabe said.
He acknowledged, however, that the crisis was fuelled by loss of confidence in the banking sector by the public. A number of banks owned by characters linked to the regime have collapsed, costing depositors millions of dollars.
“People are afraid to bank because they can’t get money back,” Mugabe said.
The situation was exacerbated by the introduction of so-called ‘bond notes’ to replace the Zimdollar which collapsed in 2008 due to hyperinflation caused by corruption and political instability triggered by Mugabe’s refusal to step down after decades in power. The government has been using the ‘bond notes’ to mop up the little foreign currency available amid speculation about the re-introduction of the local unit.
Government allowed foreign currencies to be used in 2009 amid widespread shortages of consumer goods in the shops. A period of relative stability followed. However, it lasted only five years when Mugabe, under pressure from regional leaders in southern Africa, formed a coalition government with his main rival Morgan Tsvangirai who had trounced him in elections in 2008 but failed to gain power after the military intervened.
© Now Daily 2017. All Rights Reserved.