Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga Sunday threatened black market money traders with long jail terms and declared that the country will not redollarise despite a sharp weakening of the Zimbabwe dollar.
The former military boss made the remarks while addressing a ZANU PF rally in Marondera.
He said black market trade was fuelling spikes in prices of basic goods and services thereby destabilising the economy. He said:
The black market has led to price hikes. We can’t afford our daily needs. It has also led to our local currency losing value. So the government is in the process of fixing this mess. Those found on the wrong side of the law will be dealt with accordingly.
We have warned you and we are going to make sure that you won’t come out of jail if arrested. We are going to introduce hefty measures. So people, please help us catch those wrongdoers who are dragging us behind.
Using other currencies brings nothing, but poverty. The use of United States dollars is devaluing our local currency.
The use of US dollars came after the Global Political Agreement (GPA) and the likes of (Tendai) Biti (former Finance minister) wanted to use foreign currency. We do not want foreign currency, we want our Zimbabwean dollar.
Recently, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe blamed the widening exchange rate premiums on the alternative market which it said was fuelling inflation and price increases since July last year.
Chiwenga echoes President Emmerson Mnangagwa who said Zimbabwe cannot base its economic recovery on a foreign currency which it cannot control.
More: Newsday Zimbabwe