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Zimbabwe Central Banker Gono Urges Reintroduction of Local Currency

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Gideon Gono has recommended the reintroduction of the Zimbabwe dollar, whose use was suspended by the government early this year in part because it had become worthless and also to quell stratospheric hyperinflation.

The state-run Herald newspaper reported Tuesday that Mr. Gono told the House Committee on Natural Resources and Tourism this week that reintroducing the Zimbabwe dollar would ease widespread difficulties in making change from consumer transactions.

He told the committee that the new Zimbabwe dollar could be backed by gold.

A close associate of President Robert Mugabe, Gono has been accused of fueling inflation by the irresponsible printing of money to fund the operations of the previous government. One expert on monetary systems has described him as the world's worst central banker.

Mr. Gono has often clashed with Finance Minister Tendai Biti on many policy issues, and the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has demanded the replacement of Gono and Attorney General Johannes Tomana.

Committee Chairman Abednico Bhebhe told reporter Brenda Moyo of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the central bank governor is not reintroducing the national currency but that he was merely explaining how it might be done in the context of preparing for next year's World Cup of Soccer taking place across the southern border in South Africa.

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