Zimbabwe dismisses reports of a new currency release for this week

(161129) -- HARARE, Nov. 29, 2016 (Xinhua) -- Photo taken on Nov. 28, 2016 in Zimbabwe's capital Harare shows the new bond notes that start circulating in the country. Zimbabwe on Monday added a new "surrogate" currency to the nine already in its multi-currency basket amid mixed feelings from the banking public. (Xinhua)(yy)
Illegal money changers pose while exchanging a new Zimbabwe bond note (L) and U.S. dollar notes in the capital Harare, Zimbabwe, November 28, 2016. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

Zimbabwe’s government denies reports it may introduce a new currency this week, amid fears that such a move would worsen the country’s economic crisis.

Zimbabwe abolished its hyper-inflation-destroyed currency in 2009 and mainly uses the US dollar.

In a tweet on its official account, the ministry of information, publicity and broadcasting services denied that there were plans to introduce a new currency.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) also tweeted:

Former Finance Minister Tendai Biti, who is a senior official of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Party, termed those plans as “undiluted insanity”.

“That move is pure undiluted insanity. An un-bankable currency is just the bond note by another name. There is no country in the world that has voluntarily dollarised and that has ever succeeded in de-dollarising,” he said in a tweet.

The Zimbabwean government described Biti’s comments as ‘fake news’.

Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube has said Zimbabwe’s new currency would be released by the end of the year.