Harare — Zimbabwe’s government has a trust problem as it introduces a discounted currency in a bid to reverse chronic cash shortages that left people struggling to access basic goods. Business people and economists welcomed last week’s decision to abandon an unrealistic dollar peg for the country’s surrogate bond notes and electronic dollars, which were merged into a new currency called the Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) dollar. But they expressed doubts about whether the government has the fiscal and monetary discipline to stick to its commitment to lower the budget deficit and keep inflation in check. “There is nothing to stop Zimbabwe printing money with this new currency,” said Jee-A van der Linde, an analyst at SA-based NKC African Economics. “The government has basically kicked the can down the road in recent years by trying to stimulate the economy through excessive spending.” Zimbabwe’s currency woes have undermined President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s efforts to win back forei...

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