Candid Comment: It must not be a lone man show

In a way, his first Monetary Policy Statement demonstrated this, although some Zimbabweans are still sceptical.

THE recent appointment of John Mushayavanhu as the governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe received mixed reactions.

This is not because he is not qualified for the mammoth task at hand.

After leading FBC Holdings as chief executive officer for over a decade, seeing it grow in leaps and bounds, he surely has the answer to some of the questions that trouble us as Zimbabweans.

In a way, his first Monetary Policy Statement demonstrated this, although some Zimbabweans are still sceptical.

Mushayavanhu's triumphal entry had been hyped by different government officials, who hoped this will garner public confidence.

Zimbabweans have been exposed to economic malaise for almost two decades now.

Like the actor John Rambo, he came armed with antics he hoped would revive the country's struggling economy.

His first step was to introduce a new currency — Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG) — last week, after taking President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the media for a tour of the central bank’s vaults.

He wanted to show everyone that indeed, the country had gold to back the currency.

But even before Mushayavanhu could take over from his predecessor, John Mangudya, critics had already started poking holes on his appointment.

Justifiably so or not, this is because our economic challenges are politically rooted, and it is evident to everyone that the trajectory cannot be altered by one individual alone.

Even the “Give him a chance” brigade, who initially supported Mnangagwa's decision to appoint him, is beginning to have reservations, looking at reality.

It is commendable that Mushayavanhu has identified numerous critical issues requiring attention, notably the cessation of quasi-fiscal operations, a matter he attempted to tackle in the monetary policy document.

But that alone, is not enough to address Zimbabwe’s multifaceted problems.

The governor was there when his predecessor made the famous remark that “if the bond note fails to work, I will resign”. Did he resign? No!

We all probably knew that the problem was not Mangudya. It was the toxic politics.

If we are to be true to ourselves as a country, the elephant in the room is known.

Even if we hire the best bankers to run the central bank, our economic nemesis will not be petrified.  While the jury is still out on Mushayavanhu, many were angry at the chaos caused, as the market reconfigured its systems in line with the new monetary policy. It was a grim period for certain families who found themselves unable to purchase electricity tokens and basic foodstuffs. 

The hope is that he will be frank with authorities to help them see light and reform. This is the only gift that he can bring to a troubled nation.

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