Cash crisis: UK based Zim activists call on Khama, SADC to intervene
21 June 2016, 15:35
London – Zimbabwean activists in the United Kingdom have urged the Southern African Development Community (SADC) head, Botswana President Ian Khama, to help avert what they described as a "disaster" in their country.
According to New Zimbabwe, the activists sent a letter to Khama claiming that Zimbabweans had always looked up to Botswana as a model of good governance.
They said they believed it was time for the regional body to intervene in the ongoing "Zimbabwe crisis" particularly following the country's ongoing cash crisis that reportedly threatens instability in the country.
According to the Zimbabwe Independent, last year army chiefs warned of a ticking " time bomb" as the country was battling with rampant poverty and escalating joblessness.
An unidentified army official was cited as saying that the biggest threat to President Robert Mugabe’s rule was high unemployment estimated at about 90%, as well as high levels of corruption and rising poverty..
Local version of the US dollar
On Monday, the government announced that it would delay paying June salaries for the military and police by up to two weeks.
It said other workers on the state payroll would only receive their salaries next month.
Zimbabwe has continuously been delaying pay dates for its employees for nearly a year due to revenue problems, but this was the first time the salaries had been delayed so long.
Zimbabwe was not operating with its own currency, but instead used the US dollar and other currencies as its legal tender.
A shortage of the US currency had caused severe cash shortages. The result had been long bank lines as people struggled to get cash from their savings and salaries.
In an attempt to respond to the ongoing cash crises, central bank governor John Mangudya announced early last month that a local version of the US dollar was set to start circulating later this year.
According to News24, Zimbabweans were spooked by Mangudya's announcement, as many saw it as a sneaky attempt by government to bring back the Zimbabwe dollar.
According to a previous News24 report, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), led by Morgan Tsvangirai, warned of a possible civil unrest in the country due to the current cash crisis.