ZiG Is My Brainchild, Blame Me If It Fails – Mushayavanhu

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Dr John Mushayavanhu
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Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor John Mushayavanhu has backtracked on his initial assertion that he did not know much about structured currency and engaged a World Bank consultant before introducing the new ZiG currency.

Responding to questions from the floor during a business meeting organised by the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC), Masvingo chapter on Friday, 03 May, Mushayavanhu said ZiG will not fail as it was not imposed on the market, but a well-thought-out and purely Zimbabwean idea. He said (via The Herald):

No one told us to introduce the ZiG currency, of course, when doing something, one might seek for ideas and advice from others just to fine-tune but it does not mean that if you consult on something you want to do, it means you did not originate it.

We consulted widely yes, but ZiG is my product as the Governor of the Reserve Bank and if it fails it’s my fault; it’s my brainchild.

Mushayavanhu said he started mulling the idea of introducing the ZiG currency in September last year when President Emmerson Mnangagwa revealed to him that he would be the next RBZ Governor. He added:

If at all it fails, but I don’t see the reason why the ZiG should fail and it will not fail; but in the unlikely event that it fails, then it’s entirely our responsibility as Zimbabweans and my responsibility as Governor of the central bank.

ZiG is a Zimbabwean-born currency, it’s a Zimbabwean product made by Zimbabweans, myself included.

He said the reserves backing the currency, including gold and other precious minerals and cash reserves, would be subjected to an independent audit every year.

The results of the audit will be declared publicly while the auditors will also be allowed to express their opinions on the state of affairs as a way of building confidence in the new currency, Mushayavanhu said.

He warned those selling their goods and services using the ZiG black market rate, especially pharmacies, that they were breaking the law.

Mushayavanhu urged citizens to report such culprits to the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) so that action is taken against them. He said:

The onus is on the members of the public to report those who are pegging the US$ to the ZiG black market rate to the FIU because the businesses that are doing that are acting illegally and they will be heavily fined that it will almost be impossible to continue doing that.

The Central Bank chief said those who genuinely need foreign currency to pay for things like school fees and medication, among others, would get the money from their banks.

He, however, said people cannot simply walk into banks with their ZiG to exchange it for US dollars on the counter saying doing so will be as good as dollarising.