Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa says country’s cash crisis will not be resolved overnight, saying he is minded to tackle the widening budget trade deficit.
Zimbabwe is in the throes of a dollar note shortage, which is largely blamed on its huge import bill following the collapse of its industry.
“Civil servants and all those people who are making deliveries to GMB are being paid through RTGS balances, but their expectations, which is now causing the cash shortages is that they should be paid in cash and that is where I think all of us here should be realistic,” Chinamasa told a meeting with business leaders to discuss the 2018 budget today.
“There cannot be a quick fix to the cash shortages. It will happen, but it will not happen overnight.”
Chinamasa said the trade balance was starting to narrow as exports were growing.
“We need to maintain that as we go into the future, we need increase exports and keep an eye on what imports are coming into our country whether they are promotive of production.”
Next year Imports are estimated to rise to $6.8 billion, from $6.4 billion in 2016 with exports projected at $4.6 billion.
Chinamasa said the country is not ready to have a currency of its own until certain economic fundamentals are addressed.
“As long as we don’t have a currency of our own we can’t achieve the growth rates that we wish, but we are not ready for our own currency until we have done certain things which include addressing the balance deficit, import cover and our trade balance.”