ZIMBABWE National Chamber of Commerce President Marah Hativagone yesterday accused the Reserve Bank of playing a blame game on the current cash crisis
Reacting to remarks by central bank boss Gideon Gono on Wednesday that the business sector was part of a syndicate involved in illicit cash deals, Hativagone said the “blame game” was “counter-productive”.
Announcing a new family of bearer cheques — $250 000, $500 000 and $750 000 — Gono said the cash crisis was a result of cash deals by the business sector and cash barons, among them senior government officials and politicians.
Gono said out of $67 trillion the central bank had injected into the market, only $2 trillion could be accounted for.
In a live broadcast on the introduction of the new bearer cheques, Gono blamed business for illegal monetary activities in what seemed to be an apparent reaction to Hativagone, who earlier on Wednesday said the cash crisis was affecting the business sector.
“This morning I saw a businesswoman on TV complaining and almost in tears (about the cash shortages),”said Gono. “How can you remove the speck in one’s eye when there’s a log in your own.”
But Hativagone yesterday said she was surprised that her morning interview on ZBC TV’s Business Today programme had sparked a row with the central bank chief.
“I am shocked. I was not crying at all but advocating for my constituency whom for the past two weeks was criticising me for not making a public statement regarding the cash shortages,” she said.
Turning to the introduction of the new family of bearer cheques, Hativagone described it as a welcome development, but said it was a shift from what Gono had earlier told the country.
She said the business sector had expected Gono to come up with a new currency as he suggested last month.