BY Nkululeko Sibanda in Victoria Falls
RESERVE Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor John Mangudya yesterday added his voice to the growing calls for a national dialogue to unlock the country’s socio-economic and political logjam.
Mangudya was officiating at the ongoing 2019 Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) congress in the resort town of Victoria Falls.
Economists and players in the private sector, business leaders, and government officials have been meeting in the resort town for the past three days to discuss means and ways to contribute to a market-led economy whose main anchor would be industrial development.
“What we (government and the RBZ) have done in the recent few months, which includes introducing the local currency, are measures meant to build a solid foundation for Zimbabwe to go forward and for the economy to improve,” Mangudya said.
“We have identified this (currency) issue as one of the impediments to that growth that we want to achieve. There are other issues, but I can rest assure you that going forward, we all have reason to look forward to a Zimbabwe with hopeful eyes.”
He said Zimbabwe had all it needed in its basket to move from its comatose state, but highlighted there was one component the nation still needed to shop for common purpose when dealing with national issues.
“I would like to state here today (yesterday) that while we have all these things in our spheres, the major missing link in this equation is unity of purpose. It is very clear that you will never grow as a country (out of your problems) if there is no unity of purpose and common approach to dealing with your
problems,” the central bank boss noted.
Mangudya told the business leaders that while Zimbabwe was showing signs of possible recovery, albeit at a later stage, there was need for stakeholders to boost the confidence of potential investors and multi-nationals through singing from the same hymn book on issues of national interest.
“We need to be perfectly united in all we do. We are faced with a situation when the world has little confidence in our way of doing things. Remember, we used to be called the breadbasket of Africa. We can return there if we do things together and driven, like I said, by common interest,” he said.
Mangudya said he was happy with the performance of the interbank market which he said had seen an increase in forex purchases compared to months before the government adopted the interbank rate.
“It is quite interesting to note that since February 2019, the interbank market has progressed so well to an extent that we have seen $2 million being purchased on the market compared to $500 000 in the past,” he said.
“This is a sign of improvement indeed.”