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Little Impact From Suspension of Zimbabwe Currency - Economists

The Zimbabwean government's decision to shelve the national currency for a year doesn't change very much because the local dollar had lost virtually all of its value and almost no one used it any more, economists said Monday.

Economic Planning Minister Elton Mangoma said on the weekend that the government was suspending use of the currency for one year. The government has adopted a currency regime under which the U.S. dollar, South African rand and other hard currencies freely circulate.

Some said the suspension of the battered Zimbabwean dollar, which had depreciated to an infinitesimal value amid hyperinflation caused by profligate central bank money-printing, was one more piece of evidence for the case that Zimbabwe has become a failed state.

Economists also voiced doubt that the Zimbabwe dollar will be reintroduced in a year’s time, noting that economic recovery has been slowed by continued chaotic land invasions, political uncertainty and a lack of credit from national and international financial institutions.

Economic and political commentator Themba Dlodlo told reporter Gibbs Dube of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the country has in effect lost its monetary sovereignty.

Elsewhere, Zimbabwe consumers are happy to see prices of most basic commodities falling, particularly that of the national staple maize meal. But Zimbabwean millers have been feeling pressure due to a surge imports, as correspondent Arthur Chigoriwa reports.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...