By John Ikani
Zimbabwe’s central bank said it would start selling gold coins this month as a store of value to tame runaway inflation, which has considerably weakened the local currency.
Revealing this in a statement made available to newsmen on Monday, Governor of Zimbabwe’s Central Bank, John Mangudya, said the coins would be available for sale from 25 July in local currency, US dollars and other foreign currencies at a price based on the prevailing international price of gold and the cost of production.
The Mosi-oa-tunya coin, named after Victoria Falls, can be converted into cash and be traded locally and internationally, the central bank said.
The gold coin will contain one troy ounce of gold and will be sold by Fidelity Gold Refinery, Aurex and local banks, the statement added.
Soaring inflation in the southern African country has been piling pressure on a population already struggling with shortages and stirring memories of the economic chaos during Robert Mugabe’s near-four-decade rule.
Zimbabwe abandoned its inflation-ravaged dollar in 2009, opting instead to use foreign currencies, mostly the US dollar. The government reintroduced the local currency in 2019 but it has rapidly lost value again.
The coin forms part of measures to deal with a currency crisis that’s seen the annual inflation rate jump to 192% in June and a sharp depreciation in the Zimbabwean dollar, which has lost more than two-thirds of its value against the dollar this year.
Investors tend to flock to gold in times of wars and crises as it is seen as a safe-haven asset.