By Nkosana Dlamini
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor John Mangudya says the apex bank has “no appetite” to dip its hands into private foreign currency accounts as happened during the chaotic tenure of controversial former governor Gideon Gono over a decade ago.
This he said in a Saturday statement which sought to dismiss claims by the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) in a position paper issued by the business group Friday.
In the cited paper, CZI sought to interpret the dire economic situation the country was mired in and warned authorities against persisting with the ruinous path.
The business group also urged the scrapping of the government run foreign currency auction system viewed by private players and the opposition as an unnecessary distortion to the real value of the US dollar currently.
CZI also went on to suggest private foreign currency balances could be raided by the central bank in a situation akin to the Gono era when NGOs and individuals’ balances vanished.
However, RBZ has struck the panic button, proceeding Saturday to issue a statement which denied it was after anybody’s money.
Mangudya said of the CZI claims, “In that paper, CZI called for, inter alia, the suspension of the foreign exchange auction system and alleged that a mono-currency system was in place and also made unfounded references to “raiding” of foreign currency accounts and a bank run.
“The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (The Bank) wishes to draw the public’s attention to the fact that the contents of the CZI paper are a response to the rumours and not based on facts of the ground. The contents of the said CZI paper and the impressions depicted therein are unfortunate and uncalled for as they have the potential of destabilising financial markets and economic stability of the country.
“For clarity and avoidance of doubt, the Bank advises the public that; Government and the bank are committed to an orderly de-dollarisation and it is false that a mono currency system is now in place; the foreign exchange auction system remains in place and will not be suspended as doing so will cause shortages of goods in the market and abet inflation.
“All foreign exchange accounts are safe and the Bank has no reason or appetite to raid the accounts as alleged in the CZI paper.”