Zimbabwe today has introduced a new currency called the RTGS Dollars, the RBZ boss John Mangudya said during the Monetary Policy Statement.
These “RTGS Dollars” are not tied on the 1:1 rate against the United States Dollars but will instead be sold at a variable exchange rate in the formal banking system. RTGS dollars will also including RTGS balances in bank accounts.
The measures are trying create a new currency and stabilize Zimbabwe’s economy, which has been lurched into crisis as a shortage of foreign. Zimbabwe abandoned its own currency in 2009 after inflation rose to 500 billion percent, allowing the use of the U.S. dollar and other units as legal tender. Bond notes were introduced in 2016.
“RTGS, bond notes and coins to be immediately denominated as ‘RTGS Dollars’. The legal instrument giving effect to this has been prepared and will be gazetted soon.” He said.
Mangudya said depositors could use their RTGS dollars to buy foreign currency from the banks, a move presumably aimed at choking the lifeblood of the black market, which had become the source of buying the scarce US dollars. It is also meant to avail hard currency to forex-starved companies that have been struggling to import raw materials.
“RTGS dollars have become one of the currencies in the currency bucket of the multi-currency system of the economy”. The RTGS dollars shall be used by all entities in Zimbabwe for the purposes of pricing of goods and services, debts, accounting and settlement of transactions.” He added.
Now Banks will be able fix the rate of this currency against the USD and other currencies. It also means that individuals will now be able to go to banks/ Bureau de Changes to change their money legally with no fears of being arrested.