THE government needs to keep its promises to the international community and its citizens if the country is to overcome the current political and economic risks it is facing, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe deputy governor, Kupukile Mlambo, has said.
Source: Keep your word, government urged – NewsDay Zimbabwe February 14, 2017
By KHANYILE MLOTSHWA
Mlambo was speaking at the official opening of the refurbished Standard Chartered Bank’s Fife Street branch in Bulawayo on Friday.
“We are now facing both economic risk and political risk,” he said.
“As the central bank, we are working with the Finance ministry on mitigating the economic risk. Our success here will come through following on what we promise to do, what we promise to the world and promise to the people.
“We have repaid the International Monetary Fund. We have made progress towards repaying the African Development Bank, and we are also working with the World Bank.”
Mlambo said the economy is likely to grow by just under 2% this year.
“One of the ways to boost the economy is to encourage foreign direct investment. We need to pay back what we owe. As Zimbabweans, let’s stop owing the world,” he said.
Mlambo said deteriorating confidence and trust could result in a 100-year wait for a turnaround.
“We want to reciprocate that. We want people to feel that the economy is in steady hands,” he said. “If we lose that confidence now, we may take about 100 years to bring back the trust that people should have on the central bank. That trust is important. We all trust the US dollar, yet there is nothing that backs it.”
Standard Chartered chief executive officer, Ralph Watungwa, said the bank has stuck with Zimbabwe for the past 125 years because of the loyalty of its customers.
“Our nation is more changed from what it was in 1892, but what this (refurbishment) represents is a continuation of the relationship between us and our customers. The bank will be there again for the next 125 years,” he said.
“We have invested at a time when people think the economy is not working. In the next six to nine months, you will see that our branches are being refurbished.
“We expect to spend in excess of $9 million. You have heard rumours that we are pulling out of this country. This is your answer. We can’t throw money into a place that we are leaving.”
Watungwa said the bank was investing in digitisation and will be promoting the use of cards and e-money.