As the Citizens’ Cabinet we are advocating for inclusive dialogue between the government and all relevant stakeholders to bring about practical solutions and urgent relief to the unbearable pain and suffering that citizens are going through due to the current state of the economy.


This week our deliberations have been focused on the severe hardships faced by citizens as a result of the massive loss of value of wages, savings, and pensions occasioned by the massive devaluation of RTGS and Bond Note balances against the US dollar.

We seek to reiterate that workers’ wages were negotiated in US dollars and should be treated as such. Equally savings and pensions since the dollarization of the economy in 2009 were accumulated in US dollars and should be treated as such.

As citizens, we reject the government’s clandestine efforts to convert US dollar wages, savings and pensions into RTGS/Bond notes at the fictitious one to one rate when then real market value is at least one US dollar to 3 RTGS/Bond dollars.

In effect this surreptitious move to treat US dollars wages, savings and pensions as RTGS/Bond note values amounts to attempted grand theft of citizens’ hard earned incomes and is totally unacceptable. Going by the current alternative market rates this amounts to a real loss of value of at least 3 times. In other words most workers now earn wages below USD 100 which has made life unbearable for ordinary citizens. Additionally, The price hikes we have experienced over the past month further erode the real value of incomes as the market, across the board, has moved to peg prices to the US dollar exchange rate.

The Citizens’ Cabinet notes with great concern the far reaching consequences of the impact of the erosion of basic incomes and savings coupled with skyrocketing prices on the livelihoods and social and economic rights of the citizens particularly with regards to access to food, health and education.

As the Citizens’ Cabinet we denounce in the strongest terms the corruption, negligence, sheer incompetence and mismanagement of the economy that has put citizens in these hardships. Furthermore, inconsistent pronouncements by the government and failure to consult key stakeholders before major policy declarations, combined with distinctly poor communication on the part of the authorities is making things worse creating an engulfing sense of panic, uncertainty and negative expectations among citizens and the markets.


In line with our commitment to solutions and given the above, We the Citizens’ Cabinet therefore CALL on the government to take the following actions to help resolve the current economic crisis:

  • Pay Salaries Negotiated in US dollars in the Same Currency or Market Equivalent – The real negotiated US dollar value of salaries must be ring fenced and maintained, and where payment is made in RTGS/Bond note the prevailing market exchange rate must be applied to cushion workers from the RTGS/Bond note devaluation and price increases.
  • Eliminate 1:1 Bond Note Conversion rate and Move To Abolish Bond Note completely – The government must immediately abandon the fictitious 1:1 conversion rate and allow the Bond notes and RTGS to freely float according to market pricing. The artificial 1:1 exchange rate enables grand theft through arbitrage by those privileged to access RBZ allocations with dire consequences to rest of the economy. As bad money, the bond note will continue to drive out good money from the system and generate monetary instability. Accordingly, the government must move in the shortest possible time to demonitize the bond note and expunge it from the system. In doing so the government must put in place a facility to give fair value to those holding Bond notes
  • Stop Printing Money and Buy Back Excess Liquidity– The RBZ governor is on record stating that the government would not print Bond Notes beyond the Afrexim Bank $200 million guarantee. This limit was exceeded with no explanation. The government must immediately make a public declaration that there will be no printing of additional bond notes as well as issuance of virtual currency through the RTGS platform and put in place convincing verification mechanisms. Further, the government must mop up excess liquidity until monetary equilibrium is restored.
  • Transparency in RBZ forex allocation and Full Accounting on Forex Receipts – The RBZ must be compelled to publish on a weekly basis the full list of its forex allocation to enable auditing by citizens’ bodies and the auditor general. Additionally, those receiving forex allocations from the RBZ must provide full accounting and proof that forex is spent for intended purposes. This is essential to curtail corrupt allocation of forex as well as prevent the situation where forex recipients are simply taking hard currency to the parallel market instead of purchasing intended imports.
  • Rebuild Trust and Restore Government Policy Credibility – The government needs to acknowledge the huge Trust deficit that is at the heart of economic dysfunctionality in the country and take deliberate steps to rebuild trust. Central to this is restoring policy credibility through consistency in policy pronouncements and follow through as well as timely communication to clear confusion on the market. Furthermore, the government needs to openly admit responsibility for the losses incurred by citizens (including pensions, savings, current account balances) through hyperinflation, dollarization and the raiding of forex accounts and make a clear commitment to take restorative measures and avoid recurrence. This includes actioning the recommendations of the Pensions Commission and most importantly initiating steps towards an Independent central bank legislatively protected from political influence.

Further, we call on the government and the whole nation to realize that ultimately the solution to our economic problems lies in production. As as a nation we must organize and mobilize ourselves to bring back national production starting with low hanging fruits, particularly in manufacturing and the agroindustry. This is how we will create jobs and conditions for a viable national currency. The government has a huge task to provide the necessary enabling conditions and leadership towards this mission.

As the Citizens’ Cabinet we stand in solidarity with the workers, pensioners and the generality of Zimbabwean citizens who are going through daily traumatic experiences of watching their incomes and savings eroded and livelihoods destroyed and we call upon the government to treat the situation as a national emergency.