Award-winning journalist and New York Times Foreign Correspondent Hopewell Chin’ono has said that Zimbabwe should consider getting a foreigner to become the governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ). Chin’ono argues that a foreigner will be able to withstand manipulation from the political class.
We have enough evidence that a local person would clearly succumb to political pressures and end up doing things that have nothing to do with the central bank. Those in power and those close to them will make that person do things that a foreign central banker will walk away from, because a foreigner will not have the burden of living here after an argument with the appointing authority. The political class has ruthlessly manipulated the central bank because our institutions are weak and not independent…It is not because people from around are not qualified, it is simply because we know that they can easily be manipulated into losing track of their mandate.
…Zimbabwe is saddled with a huge burden of confidence deficit issues. Nobody in their right minds would bank their lifetime savings in today’s Zimbabwe banking architecture. It is simply because of lack of trust and nothing else! England, a very wealthy and powerful country that doesn’t suffer from trust issues in its banking sector, appointed Mark Carney a Canadian economist and experienced central banker as the governor of the Bank of England. Did Britain become less sovereign because of that appointment? Of course not. We need to separate colonial legacy issues from today’s national economic realities.
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…My argument is very simple, we need a central bank governor who is able to pick up the phone and ask for any sort of help from other international financial institutions. We need someone who can be trusted by our partners in the world of economics and finance. The President and parliament can then support this central banker to reform the central bank, making it independent and then appointing a local guy after three years. The local central banker can now have the professional luxury of being in charge of an independent and strong central bank.
More: Nehanda Radio