via Chinamasa equal to the task: Gono by NewZimbabwe Staff Reporter
Gideon Gono says Zimbabwe’s new Finance Minister is “more than equal to the task” of providing strong economic leadership.
Patrick Chinamasa, who held the position on an interim basis between 2008 and 2009 and is credited with dollarising the economy, was named Finance Minister in President Robert Mugabe’s Cabinet announced on Tuesday.
“Minister Chinamasa is not new to the portfolio and we are confident that he is more than equal to the task,” Gono said in a statement issued on Wednesday.
“On our part as a central bank and financial advisors to government, our board, management and staff are excitedly ready to play our part within the confines of our mandate.”
Gono said the Cabinet team announced by Mugabe had “lots of potential” to consolidate the economic stability which has prevailed since 2009 when a power sharing government took office after President Mugabe agreed to share power with his MDC rivals.
He added: “A Cabinet is like a football team. It takes the whole team to win a match. Yes, there will always be individual flashes of brilliance in any team but ultimately, what we now have is Team Zimbabwe Cabinet which if it pulls together in the same direction, putting aside sectarian interests in favour of national interest and cohesion, can make a positive difference in a very short space of time.
“Out there people expect results like yesterday and no excuses. That being the case, one sees lots of potential in Team Zimbabwe Cabinet but potential alone is not enough. It is the translation of potential into specific energy and dexterity towards deliverables consistent with the said people’s expectations which matter most.”
Mugabe, 89, won a new five year term after his Zanu PF party captured a two-thirds majority in parliament in the July 31 elections.
Mugabe has pledged to accelerate plans to take stakes in banks and mining companies to return control of the economy to black Zimbabweans.
Under its indigenisation policy, Zimbabwe has forced mining companies such as Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. (IMP) and Anglo American Platinum Ltd. (AMS) to cede majority stakes in their local assets to black Zimbabweans or the government.
Zimbabwe has the world’s second-biggest platinum and chrome reserves, as well as diamond, gold and coal deposits.
Gono – who is set to leave the apex bank in November – has urged caution in the indigenisation of banks, insisting that the “one-size-fits-all” approach used in other sectors of the economy would not work in the financial services.
The Reserve Bank chief would have been warmed by President Mugabe’s decision to ship the former Indigenisation Minister Saviour Kasukuwere out to the Water, Environment and Climate ministry. Francis Nhema, seen as a moderate, was named the new Indigenisation Minister.
Gono and Kasukuwere clashed repeatedly, with the central bank chief accusing the youthful minister of “irrational exuberance during these times of necessary soberness” after he threatened foreign banks with the withdrawal of their licences if they failed to comply with the indigenisation laws.