BY KUDZAI KUWAZA
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe deputy governor Khupukile Mlambo has urged Zimbabweans to trust the monetary authorities, saying the central bank was trying its best to ensure financial stability in the country.
Mlambo’s call come at a time when the central bank has been accused of monetary policy inconsistencies, resulting in citizens lacking trust in decisions made by the monetary authorities.
Monetary policy inconsistencies have resulted in a widening gap between the official exchange rate and the parallel market rate, as well as erosion of incomes and steep rises in prices of goods and services.
Addressing delegates at a CEO Africa Roundtable conference in Victoria Falls last Friday, Mlambo pleaded for citizen trust in monetary issues.
“I get sometimes confused myself because the issue of confidence is said a lot of times. How long will people not want to trust us when we have tried so much? The people who are said to have brought about the issue of confidence are no longer at the central bank. We have new people. I am almost in my nine-and-half-year at RBZ and I am still asking to be trusted. How long do you not want to give us the benefit of the doubt? My appeal is that let us begin to trust each other,” Mlambo said.
However, delegates told Mlambo that trust can only be earned through well-crafted policies, especially after several Zimbabweans lost their savings due to monetary policy failure.
Dairibord Zimbabwe chief executive Anthony Mandiwanza said the elephant in the room was money supply.
Mandiwanza gave examples of the Command Agriculture programme and other infrastructural policies whose implementation resulted in the printing of money and resultant inflationary pressures.
“The issue of spending must be spoken about candidly if the citizens are to be on the same page with the central bank in terms of confidence issues,” Mandiwanza said.
Mlambo admitted that the local currency was being rejected as legal tender, adding that even house maids were demanding to be paid in foreign currency.
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