Zimbabwe’s coalition of opposition parties, the MDC Alliance, says it will join the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) and the Multilateral Monetary Area if elected into government at the forthcoming general elections.
Presenting its election manifesto on Thursday, the MDC Alliance said joining the MMA will allow Zimbabwe to use a cheaper, enforceable and convertible currency, the rand.
“The MDC Alliance government will join such a monetary union and adopt its currency as the legal tender for Zimbabwe,” the MDC Alliance said.
It said the move will also “allow the devaluation of the cost structure of the Zimbabwean economy”, and help the country receive significant revenue from SACU contributions.
“It will allow Zimbabwe to benefit from favourable trade agreements enjoyed by SACU as well as enjoy efficient low cost trade with South Africa, Zimbabwe’s largest trading partner,” read its manifesto.
Zimbabwe has been using a multicurrency system since 2009 following the collapse of its local currency, the Zimbabwe dollar.
The MDC Alliance said it recognises that in the long term, it is not sustainable for Zimbabwe to continue to use a basket of multiple currencies as legal tender.
“The USD, for instance, is exacerbating the challenges of high cost structures as well as fuelling the uncompetitiveness of Zimbabwe’s exports,” said the coalition.
It said in the long term, the answer to Zimbabwe’s currency challenges lies in regional integration, hence the decision to join MMA as an interim measure.
The alliance said joining MMA will allow Zimbabwe to issue a new Zimbabwean dollar that will be pegged to the rand.
Zimbabwe will be going to the polls to elect a new government on July 31, 2018.