The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has brushed off reports that there is a rift between central bank governor John Mangudya and Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube over the introduction of a new currency in Zimbabwe.
Mangudya is said to have stormed out of meeting with Ncube after the Finance Minister allegedly lectured him like a student.
The central bank governor was expected to present his monetary police statement at the end of last month or first week of February but he has not done so yet.
In a statement in reaction to the rift reported in the Zimbabwe Independent, the central bank said: “There was no angry exchange of words between the Minister of Finance and Economic Development Hon Professor Mthuli Ncube and RBZ Governor John Mangudya as alleged by the Zimbabwe Independent on the 15th of February 2019.
“This is fake news created out of a figment of imagination to create hatred and to confuse the market. The Monetary Policy Statement will be presented when due.”
Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube reacted in just two words: “Fake news”.
The rift between Mangudya and Ncube was first raised by former Finance Minister Tendai Biti who tweeted on Monday that “the regime will this week introduce a new Zimbabwe currency not backed by any #reserves & without the context of structural reforms which a prerequisite of currency reform”.
Biti said: “That move is pure undiluted #insanity. An unbanked currency is just the #bond note by another name. There is no country in the world that has involuntarily dollarized that has ever succeeded in de -dollarizing. Zim will not be the 1st .Whilst a currency is about fundamentals, ultimately the most important fundamental is confidence. There is absolutely no trust in this regime.”
When the government dismissed Biti’s statement as fake news pointing out that he could not speak on behalf of the government when he was not in government, Biti responded: “The regime has been caught with pants down. It is a fact that a new currency has been printed & that negotiations are taking place now with major holders of cash. It is fact that Cabinet has approved new currency despite paternity fight between John & Mutuvi. Now please deny this.”
Biti has been fighting Ncube since he was appointed in September and is advocating that Zimbabwe should join the South African rand union.
Ncube insists that Zimbabwe will introduce its own currency once the environment is right but it will definitely be within 12 months.