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Zimbabwe Central Bank Suspends 4 Senior Officials Over Bond Notes Scandal, Suspected Shady Deals

A man in Harare holds bondnotes issued by Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Oct. 15, 2018. The introduction of bond notes - a currency Zimbabwe started printing two years ago to ease the situation -- has not helped. (C.Mavhunga/VOA)

Zimbabwe’s central bank has suspended four senior officials implicated in alleged scandals including the leaking of bond notes to the parallel market.

The corruption claims were made recently by William Gerald Mutumanje, known as Acie Lumumba, who was recently appointed by Dr. Mthuli Ncube as a consultant and spokesperson of the Ministry of Finance.

The officials who were suspended indefinitely are the director of the Supervision Department of Reserve Bank Supervision Norman Mataruka, director financial markets Azvinandaa Saburi, director financial intelligence Mirirai Chiremba and head of security Gresham Muradzikwa.

The four, who were served with letters of suspension on Monday, were not reachable for comment.

In a statement, RBZ governor John Mangudya said, “The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (the "Bank") wishes to advise members of the public that following allegations of impropriety levelled against senior officials of the Bank, namely Messrs Mirirai Chiremba, Norman Mataruka, Gresham Muradzikwa and Azvinandawa Saburi, by Mr Lumumba, the Bank has found it necessary, for the sake of transparency and good corporate governance, that the allegations be followed through and investigated in line with the Bank’s Employment Code of Conduct.

“Consequently, on 22 October 2018, the Bank suspended the quartet from employment for an indefinite period to pave way for the investigations. Once the investigations have been concluded, the public shall be advised of the outcome and the appropriate corrective action to be taken as dictated by the outcome of the investigations.”

The statement was dated October 23, 2018.

Prices of basic commodities have skyrocketed while other goods have vanished from shops owing to a toxic bond notes parallel market. The government insists that the bond and United States dollar are still trading at par though the bond is being fetched at higher rates in the black market.

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