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Sunday, July 14, 2024

ZiG gets buy-in across all sectors

Story by Tichaona Kurewa and Owen Mandovha

THE new ZiG has been embraced by various sectors of the economy, with tourism players and tobacco farmers accepting the local currency alongside other forms of payment.

The move by the Zimbabwean tourism industry signifies a strong push for inclusive growth which is expected to spur domestic tourism and expedite the achievement of the US$five billion tourism industry by 2025.

ZBC News visited selected tourism facilities in Victoria Falls this Tuesday where the local currency was being accepted at the official rate for accommodation, park entrance fees, tours and other activities.

Upsound Nyakutombwa: (We are accepting ZiG alongside other currencies. We have since converted our point of sale systems to be able to transact in ZiG. Remember we are in a multi-currency scenario and all our rates are payable in local currency at the official rate. Our members should just comply with the monetary instructs, no guest should be turned away because they want to pay in ZiG,” said Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe president, Mr Brian Nyakutombwa.

“We are accepting all forms of payment methods as accepted in Zimbabwe. We are accepting ZiG in all our operations because it’s a legal tender. Remember ZiG is also being used to pay off taxes like QPDs and the likes. It’s an acceptable currency within the tourism industry and we are accepting it,” said Tourism Business Council of Zimbabwe, Matabeleland North Region representative, Ms Barbra Murasiranwa-Hughes.

Speaking on the same subject, Employers Association for Tours and Safari Operators representative, Clement Mukwasi noted, “Were are using the dual system for payments that the local currency and the foreign currency. The foreign currency includes the US dollar and other major currencies that are accepted here in Zimbabwe. On the local side we are using the ZiG and the rates of payment are determined by the Reserve Bank. All our payment systems have been re-configured to accept ZiG transactions.”

This re-affirmation signifies the tourism sector’s commitment to inclusive growth, allowing international and local tourists to participate in the economy.

In the same vein, tobacco farmers who are paid 75 percent in United States dollars and 25 percent in the new ZiG are contend with the new currency.

Mt Darwin based tobacco farmer, Mr Crispen Muza, who is selling his produce for the first time at one of the leading floors in Harare, says his family is eagerly waiting for the local currency.

“We want to have our new currency and where I’m coming from everyone wants to see how it looks like. I have been instructed to make sure that I bring the new notes and coins because everyone is excited to see the new currency in the rural areas.”

Farmers are also excited about the buying power and stability of the ZiG, “I have been selling tobacco this season and this is my third time and in all instances I managed to use my ZiG balance in supermarkets and the good thing is that supermarkets are using official rates.”

There are growing calls for the central bank to increase the circulation of new ZiG notes, with others calling for stern measures to be taken against would be currency manipulators.

“We have not yet seen the ZiG currency and our hope is that after selling the tobacco I will be able to liquidate or withdraw my portion in the notes and coins,” said a tobacco seller.

“We are happy that the new currency is here but the problem is that people are rating the new currency hence we call upon government to take drastic steps against these currency manipulators,” said another.

According to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe an equivalent of US$88 million dollars of the new ZiG currency is circulating in the economy and any additional money will be backed by either gold or foreign currency.

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