PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe in June rejected Finance minister Herbert Murerwa’s proposal to introduce a $250 000 bearer cheque when Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono was away in Russia.
Highly-placed sources said Murerwa and acting RBZ g
overnor at the time, Edward Mashiringwani, had suggested that government introduces a $250 000 bearer cheque, citing surging inflation which was at 1 193,5%.
Mashiringwani is the RBZ deputy governor responsible for the Financial Markets, Banking Operations and National Payments Systems.
Sources said the two argued that due to galloping inflation, the largest denomination then — a $100 000 bearer cheque introduced on June 1 — was no longer convenient for daily transactions.
Prices of goods and services were escalating across the economy at an alarming rate, forcing customers to carry large sums of money in bags and car boots.
However, sources said Mugabe blocked Murerwa and Mashiringwani’s plans, querying why they wanted to do it in Gono’s absence.
Mugabe confirmed on Monday he had rejected the $250 000 bearer cheque.
He told supporters at Heroes Day cerebrations that a number of suggestions had been put forward, including the introduction of a $250 000 bearer cheque, but he turned them down.
Gono travelled to Moscow on May 31 hunting for a financial lifeline to save Zimbabwe from headlong economic descent.
On his return, Gono, despite his earlier pronouncements that the RBZ would not hesitate to print higher denominations, opted to knock off three zeros from the old bearer cheques before introducing new ones.
When Gono introduced the $100 000 bearer cheque on June 1, he said it was more convenient to the public since the $50 000 “had been overtaken by events”.
“It is not the first and last time to see us introducing bearer cheques and we will not hesitate to introduce higher denominations,” Gono said.
Mashiringwani by last night had not responded to questions sent to him earlier in the day.