Mthuli Says ZiG Was Created By ED Not World Bank
12 May 2024
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Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG) Currency Announced as Brainchild of President Mnangagwa Amid Controversy

By Dorrothy Moyo | Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister, Prof Mthuli Ncube, has appeared to clarify the origins of the Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG) currency, attributing its conception directly to President Emmerson Mnangagwa. This announcement marks a significant departure from previous claims that suggested international influences such as the World Bank and the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) were pivotal in the currency’s creation.

During a recent Zanu-PF Provincial Co-ordinating Committee meeting in Bulawayo, Prof Ncube elucidated the developmental process of ZiG, recounting a conversation with President Mnangagwa two years prior. The president had proposed that 50% of mining royalties be retained physically, notably in gold, to bolster national reserves. “This directive led us to accumulate the necessary assets, ensuring the April introduction of ZiG was backed by tangible gold reserves stored within the Central Bank,” Prof Ncube explained.

This revelation contrasts sharply with previous statements by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor, John Mushayavanhu, who had implicated the World Bank and CZI in the conceptualization and structuring of ZiG. The governor had previously criticized the World Bank for its advice, which he claimed led to some of the currency’s shortcomings, and he credited CZI with the initial idea.

The shifting narrative raises questions about the internal coherence of the government’s communication and the actual influences behind ZiG’s introduction. While the finance minister credits a sovereign initiative aimed at economic stabilization, discrepancies in the accounts of its origin suggest a more complex interplay of local and international consultancy.

The introduction of ZiG comes at a time when Zimbabwe continues to grapple with economic challenges, including inflation and public trust in its financial policies. Economists and analysts had warned that introducing a new currency without addressing fundamental economic issues might lead to difficulties similar to those experienced with the RTGS and bond notes.

As Zimbabwe forges ahead with its new currency, the government appears to be consolidating its narrative around a nationalistic origin of ZiG, possibly to strengthen public confidence and foster a sense of ownership among Zimbabweans. However, the continued debate and contrasting statements from key economic figures suggest that the path to monetary stability and public acceptance of ZiG may be fraught with challenges and skepticism.

As the story develops, stakeholders from various sectors are keenly watching how this repositioning might affect the broader economic landscape and the everyday lives of Zimbabweans, hoping for a positive turnaround driven by transparent and effective policymaking.- ZimEye