Mangudya begs for patience, slams social media

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By Anna Chibamu

RESERVE Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor, John Mangudya has pleaded for patience among Zimbabweans to allow some economic measures being undertaken by government to start bearing fruit.

The apex bank chief was appearing before the Parliamentary Committee on Budget and Finance on Monday, at which he argued the negativity generated on social media has not helped matters.

“Be patient. Let us give these measures some time. The situation has improved as compared to the old system,” said Mangudya.

Finance secretary George Guvamatanga weighed in and effectively closed debate around a possible reversal of the ban on multi-currencies.

“No more debate on the Rand. It has moved its journey. We need to focus on production only,” said Guvamatanga in what seemed a direct response to those agitating for Zimbabwe to join the Rand Monetary Union.

But few Zimbabweans would be willing to take the RBZ chief’s word after he in 2016 promised to resign if the bond note failed.

Despite the current economic problems and specifically currency challenges, Mangudya insisted the bond note has not been a failure.

The central bank chief blamed social media for some of the problems bedeviling the economy.

“Some people want to spread malicious information so do not confuse indiscipline with communication. Social media in this country is full of lies. To what extent should we continue to have this.

“Who is Zimbollar site?  It is the invisible hand behind the indiscipline and it is the one we are dealing with right now. The problem with Zimbabweans is that they spend more time asking for a strong currency instead of focusing on production,” said the former CBZ chief executive officer.

“As of February 22 this year till last Friday, about $525 million had gone through the inter-bank market.”

Mangudya was last week named on a list of political and business leaders accused by the Zanu PF youth league of sabotaging the economy.

Critics have argued that the RBZ has allowed fresh notes onto the currency parallel market fanning the exchange rate and the domino effect on most basic commodities’ prices.

But Zanu PF Bikita West MP, Elias Musakwa argued that government could not expect production to increase when there is no power to feed industry.

“There is no power. How can we produce when there is no power and no fuel?” said Musakwa.

Government last week announced a raft of measures including the dissolution of the multi-currency system that had been in place for a decade.

It was replaced by a mono-currency system in which the local currency will now be sole legal tender in all domestic transactions, a move that immediately had a positive effect on run-away parallel market rates that had threatened to plunge the country into chaos.