Bvumbe’s World Bank exit fuels Mangudya RBZ ouster speculation

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By UK Bureau

GOVERNMENT sources have downplayed as mere speculation reports that Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor John Mangudya’s ouster from the apex bank is imminent.

Andrew Ndaamunhu Bvumbe

Linked with the increasingly tough job as the country battles serious foreign currency shortages and an economy plunging anew was bureaucrat Andrew Bvumbe whose departure from the World Bank was confirmed this week.

A government official however, downplayed claims Bvumbe was taking over, blaming the reports on “social media speculation and lobbying by Bvumbe’s people”.

Mangudya, hugely unpopular over the Bond Notes surrogate currency, has appeared to be on borrowed time after President Emmerson Mnangagwa brought in new faces at the finance ministry.

Mnangagwa dispensed with long-serving permanent secretary Willard Manungo and top Zanu PF politician Patrick Chinamasa who was finance minister.

And in came globally renowned academic and public policy expert Professor Mthuli Ncube as finance minister with former Barclays bank Zimbabwe CEO taking over as permanent secretary.

Focus then duly turned on the RBZ amid reports that Mnangagwa was looking to replace Mangudya with FBC bank chief executive John Mushayavanhu.

But the underwhelming Mangudya hung on.

However, recent revelations that top executives at the RBZ were engaged in rampant corruption and illegal foreign currency dealings may have sealed his fate.

Bvumbe, who holds MSc and BSc in Economics degrees from the University of Zimbabwe, was Executive Director for Africa at the World Bank Group (WBG).

His professional background includes experience in macroeconomic management as a senior official in the Ministry of Finance, the RBZ and as Executive Director at the African Development Bank.

Before to joining the WBG, he served as Head of the Aid and Debt Management Office at the Ministry of Finance.

Prior to that he served as Permanent Secretary for Planning in the Ministry of Economic Planning; Director in the Privatization Agency of Zimbabwe; and as Principal Director in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.

Earlier in his career Bvumbe served as Chief Economist and Assistant Director for Economic Research and Policy at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.