Zim’s new central bank governor faces currency constraint

Zimbabwe’s incoming central bank Governor John Panonetsa Mangudya will face a restricted role focusing on regulation because the country doesn't have its own currency, said Tony Hawkins, an economist and member of the bank's board.

Mangudya (51), who is currently chief executive officer of CBZ Holdings, the country's biggest bank by assets, will take up his position from May 1, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said on March 22.

Zimbabwe abandoned its local currency in 2009 in favour of multiple foreign currencies, including the dollar and South African rand, to help contain hyper-inflation.

"There's very little he can do in a country that has dollarised, so the focus has to be on regulation rather than monetary controls," Hawkins, a professor at the University of Zimbabwe, said in a phone interview on Monday from the capital, Harare.

Chinamasa said Mangudya is a "Keynesian economist who believes in discretionary fiscal and monetary policies," Zimbabwe’s state-controlled Sunday Mail reported on Sunday. Mangudya declined to comment on his appointment when called on his mobile phone on Monday.

"Mangudya is a substantial figure and well-trained with lots of experience, but the governor's job is seriously constrained by the dollar economy," Hawkins said. "Money supply is obviously out of the bank's control, as are interest rates." 

Gideon Gono resigned on November 29 as governor after completing two five-year terms. During that time the central bank printed money to pay the government's debts, fuelling inflation to an estimated 500-billion%, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Charity Dhliwayo, the acting governor, will retain her position as deputy until her term expires in April 2017, Chinamasa said. – Bloomberg

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories


Subscribers only

How smuggled gold destined for Dubai or Singapore has links...

Three Malagasy citizens were apprehended at OR Tambo International airport, but now the trail is found to connect to France and Mali

How lottery execs received dubious payments through a private company

The National Lottery Commission is being investigated by the SIU for alleged corruption and maladministration, including suspicious payments made to senior NLC employees between 2016 and 2017

More top stories


Joel Embiid gets the nod, and though Curry has performed well lately, there are doubts that the Warriors will prevail

Beyond the digital cold war: Technology and the future of...

Several African governments have published plans to establish smart cities, including Cairo, Johannesburg, Kigali and Nairobi. They require the most advanced technologies available

Funding a vaccine will tax our limits

VAT should not be hiked, but a once-off levy on mineral resources or a solidarity tax seems likely

‘SA can’t leave its shift to a low-carbon future to...

Innovation and creativity is crucial to guide financing, say experts

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…