Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya said the gold coins set to be released on 25 July will likely reduce demand for the US dollar as a store of value and stop the depreciation of the local currency.
Speaking in an interview with State media, Mangudya said the gold coins, which are known as Mosi-oa-Tunya, can only be redeemed for cash after 180 days. He said:
Because of hyperinflation and past experiences, people in Zimbabwe have increased the demand for foreign currency as a store of value.
So, in order to provide an alternative product for those who want to store value, including those with excess balances and those who have foreign currency under their pillows, we have introduced the gold coin.
Its first positive impact is that it provides a safe and secure investment for those living in perpetual fear of hyperinflation and losing value.
Mangudya however, refused to reveal the number of gold coins that are going to be released in the first batch. He added:
However, they are sufficient. We will only be able to give you information after the beginning of the first week.
The Mosi-oa-Tunya coins will be sold at a price based on the prevailing international price of gold plus a five per cent mark-up to cover production and distribution costs.
The coins will also be traded through commercial banks, Fidelity Gold Refinery and RBZ-accredited agents.
The central bank said on redemption, buyers will have an option of receiving cash in either Zimbabwe dollars or US dollars.
More: The Sunday News