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Zimbabwe Central Banker, Finance Minister, In Fiscal Policy Spat

A policy spat between Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono and Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa landed on the pages of multiple newspapers this weekend as Gono leaked confidential documents appearing to show that Murerwa approved the kind of quasi-fiscal central bank operations which he himself recently denounced.

Murerwa seemed to point the finger of blame at Gono when he criticized the central bank's funding of government operations - and deficits - by printing money.

But three newspapers published documents on Sunday showing that such payments to ministries and other state entities were made with Murerwa’s authorization.

The Zimbabwe Standard quoted Murerwa saying he authorised the printing of money by the central bank to meet urgent government expenses. But in his budget statement the week before last, Murerwa declared such operations "not sustainable."

Economist Isaac Kwesu, a lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe’s graduate school of management, told reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the altercation is surprising because both institutions are arms of the government.

More reports from VOA'S Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...