Zimbabwe News

‘Maybe they didn’t advise us properly’: John Mushayavanhu blames World Bank for ZiG shortcomings

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor John Mushayavanhu has conceded that Zimbabwean authorities did not know much about structured currency and engaged a World Bank consultant before the launch of ZiG.

During a recent address to business executives, Mushayavanhu said he was not to blame for ZiG’s shortcomings as most of the input came from the World Bank official. He said:

We didn’t know much about a structured currency. We got a consultant from the World Bank. A lot of the things you’re seeing about the structured currency actually came from the World Bank.

So, if you’re going to blame me, you’re actually blaming the World Bank. Maybe they didn’t advise us properly. And if they did not advise us properly, it’s fine. Let’s refine it.

On 17 April 2024, while addressing business leaders at a Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) organised meeting in Gweru to unpack the new Monetary Policy Statement (MPS), Mushayavanhu said ZiG was invented by the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI), and not by the Central Bank. He said:

Consultations before the MPS were made, yes. My appointment was announced on December 8, but His Excellency told me on September 11 that I was going to be the Governor of RBZ.

So, I started working as Governor from as far back as September 11 and we consulted far and wide. We didn’t come to Gweru, but we spoke to the Chamber of Mines, ZNCC, Retailers Association, and CCZ, and you will be surprised to note that most of the input came from the stakeholders.

We borrowed a lot from a paper that was presented by CZI. We didn’t invent ZiG; it was invented by CZI.

They are the ones who said to us that when we look at the amount of RTGS/bonds in circulation if we convert them, we can buy it all and start afresh. This came from CZI and so we consulted far and wide.

Some Zimbabweans have embraced ZiG, while others remain sceptical and believe it will eventually fail just like the RTGS and bond notes. ZiG was introduced by the Reserve Bank under SI 60/2024.

Renowned economic analyst Daniel Silke warned against expecting ZiG to solve Zimbabwe’s economic woes on its own, likening the launch of the new currency to putting a plaster over a wound rather than treating the underlying causes.

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