Former opposition MP questions RBZ governor’s rationale to ‘illegally extend’ lifespan of bonds notes

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By Tinei Tuhwe 

FORMER Mt Pleasant Member of Parliament (MP) Fadzai Mahere has challenged the central bank governor John Mushayavanhu’s decision to circulate bond notes alongside newly-introduced Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG), arguing that he has no powers to reverse the law.

The governor Thursday made a U-turn on his Monetary Policy Statement issued recently, purporting to extend the lifespan of bond notes which legally ceased to be legal tender on April 30 this year.

Mushayavanhu originally announced that the Zimbabwe Dollar and bond notes would circulate until April 30, 2024 where upon they do cease to be legal tender.

During an interview with local radio station, Star FM, on Thursday, the recently-appointed RBZ chief made a somersault saying bond notes and the ZWL will continue in use indefinitely and co-circulate with the new ZiG currency.

He highligted that the central bank is permitting the use of bond notes alongside other forms of currencies, and a specific date will be announced for the discontinuation of bond notes.

The approach was aimed to prevent individuals from being stuck with unusable currency, especially in rural areas.

Mushayavanhu said the RBZ wants to collect as many ZWL notes before giving a final deadline.

Mahere then questioned the decision highlighting that it is embarassing and unlawful for the governor to change the law during a radio interview.

“Does the Governor know that SI 60 of 2024 says the Zimbabwe Dollar expired on 30 April 2024?

“On what basis then does the governor think he can change the law through a radio interview on Star FM ?

“Is he aware that his extension of the ZWL is illegal as a matter of law?”

The acerbic opposition politician said the blunder is not only embarrassing but also undermines confidence in the entire project.

“It is troubling to see someone in a position of authority fail to grasp the fundamental legal principles governing the currency they are championing.

“This raises questions about the governor’s competence and ability to lead effectively.”

“In order for the ZiG currency to succeed, it is crucial that those promoting it demonstrate a clear understanding of the legal framework underpinning its creation and operation,” she said.