Zimbabwe to vary state wages, issue bonds: report

The Herald quoted Finance Minister Tendai Biti as saying he would also soon introduce proposals in parliament to retire millions of dollars of debts incurred by Zimbabwe’s central bank in financing government programmes and when it raided some private foreign currency bank accounts.

Biti said he was also going to announce what would happen to Zimbabwe dollar deposits and cash which was rendered useless when the government introduced the use of multiple foreign currencies in January to tame hyperinflation.

Wages for state workers, currently set at a flat monthly allowance of $100, would be changed.

"We are going to vary the amount earned by civil servants," Biti said.

"The government will issue a paper for the support of the GMB (Grain Marketing Board)," he added.

"We will issue grain bills in the sum of $10 million at a rate of about seven percent and that will ensure that GMB will be adequately funded."

The GMB had recently been allocated $2 million for grain purchases, but the state agency was saddled with a $1.5 million debt to farmers.

In January, Harare lifted a ban on the use of foreign currency to stem hyperinflation that had rendered the Zimbabwe dollar almost worthless.

The move left Zimbabwe without an interbank market and reduced the central bank to a simple supervisory role as it lacked foreign currency reserves to be the banker of last resort.