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Zimbabwe Central Bank Governor Regrets Printing Worthless Currency

  • Gibbs Dube

Gono told business people at a Harare conference that no country should print money indiscriminately as this inevitably leads to devaluation, flourishing black markets and widespread speculation

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Gideon Gono has expressed regret for printing the local currency in ever-larger quantities between 2003 and 2008, leading to near-record hyperinflation and the virtual collapse of the national economy.

Gono told a business meeting Wednesday in Harare organized by the Zimbabwe Independent newspaper that no country should print money indiscriminately as this leads to devaluation, flourishing black markets and widespread speculation.

Gono told Parliament's budget committee this week that the ZANU PF government forced the Reserve Bank to print money for purposes such as purchasing agricultural inputs.

Gono gave no hint that he would consider stepping down for pursuing such policies.

He has been described as "the world's worst central banker." Demands by the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai for his dismissal have been rejected by President Robert Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party.

Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions Deputy Secretary General Japhet Moyo said Gono’s regrets won’t bring back the thousands of jobs lost on his watch.

Economic commentator Walter Mbongolwane said Gono should be prosecuted for ruining the Zimbabwe economy. "It is arrogant for him to say he apologizes without resigning because it shows that he is untouchable," Mbongolwane said.

Zimbabwe abandoned its worthless currency in early 2009 to adopt a monetary regimen of mixed hard currencies, in particular the US dollar and South African rand.

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