American Geographer Steve Hanke says Prof. Mthuli must resign

Prof Mthuli Ncube and Prof Steve Hanke
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American Geography academic Steve Hanke has said that Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube should throw in the towel and admit having failed to resolve Zimbabwe’s economic challenges.

Hanke said this about Zimbabwe’s galloping inflation that now stands top of the world exactly 1,170% above second-placed Argentina.

The Johns Hopkins Professor, who has been measuring Zimbabwe’s inflation rate for over five years now put it at 1,397% on Monday, 38.80% more than his last reading.

Ncube, a University of Cambridge graduate, has failed to reign in Zimbabwe’s devaluing dollar now trades at ZW$18,000 per US$1 on the parallel market.

“Welcome to Zimbabwe, home to the world’s highest inflation rate – a stunning 1,397%/yr,” said Hanke.

“It’s time for Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube to resign.”

The Zimbabwe dollar has ceased to perform its role of storing value or medium of exchange as most of the country’s internal trade is now in US dollars.

Informal traders, particularly tuckshops which have become essential providers of basic commodities, no longer accept the currency.

The Zimbabwe dollar was re-introduced in 2019 after almost a decade of absence, replacing a multi-currency system that had stabilised the country’s volatile economy.

The system however resurfaced, with the government quasi-formalising it and hinting at removing it in 2025.

Efforts to have it scrapped have constantly hit a snag, with Zanu PF and President Emmerson Mnangagwa declaring that no country has ever developed while using another’s currency.

Mnangagwa, instead, hinted at a raft of policy changes that he said were meant to halt the dollar’s massive devaluation.

“We shall soon be announcing the introduction of our structured currency,” Mnangagwa said.

Hanke’s first academic appointment was at the Colorado School of Mines in 1966, when he was 24.

During this time, Hanke developed and taught courses in mineral and petroleum economics, while completing his Ph.D. dissertation on the impact of meter installation on municipal water demand.

Hanke then joined the faculty of the Johns Hopkins University, where he initially specialized in water resource economics. After six years at Johns Hopkins, including a one-year visiting professorship at the University of California, Berkeley, Hanke attained the rank of full professor within the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering at the Whiting School of Engineering,