THE Reserve Bank (RBZ) of Zimbabwe board of directors’ term of office is set to expire at the end of this month amid indications the new Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa wants the board appointed by his predecessor, MDC-T’s Tendai Biti, to stay.
Sources at RBZ said the four-year term of the board that ran the affairs of the Central Bank under former governor Gideon Gono’s chairmanship is coming to an end on April 30.
The board that comprised of State Procurement Board chairperson, Charles Kuwaza, who was appointed as deputy chairman of the Board and Chairman of the Bank’s Audit and Oversight Committee; Antony Hawkins, a renowned economist; Godfrey Kanyenze, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions economist; Daniel Ndhlela, an independent economic consultant, Primrose Kurasha, vice chancellor of The Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU); Mordecai Mahlangu, a senior partner with Gill Godlonton and Gerrans law firm.
Also in the board are retired High Court judge Justice George Smith, current Zimplats chairman Nyasha Zhou and permanent Secretary for Finance and Economic Development Willard Manungo.
Government sources said the two MDC formations that partnered Zanu PF in the inclusive government era resolved to appoint a powerful board of directors to monitor, direct and oversee the operations of the bank.
The board reported directly to the minister on a monthly basis.
The board was appointed after repeated efforts by the two parties to have Gono and former Attorney-General Johannes Tomana fired failed.
“They took office on May 1 2010 and were appointed by Biti and their mission was publicly to clip Gono’s wings and part of the strategy by the MDCs was to amend the RBZ Act Chapter 22:15,” said the source.
The source added: “Their task was to remove Gono’s powers to engage in quasi-fiscal operations, a factor that Gono used to effectively keep President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF in power when it could have been kicked out due to economic malaise.”
The act was crafted to “confer and impose functions on the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and to provide for its management; to regulate the issue of banknotes and coins; to provide for matters connected with banking, currencies, monetary policy and coinage; to provide for the supervision of banking institutions; to authorise the provision of information to foreign regulatory authorities.”
However, whilst sources claim the board was put in place to play watchdog role on Gono, Chinamasa has indicated he wants it to continue at the helm of the central bank.
“Chinamasa was generally happy with this board and indicated that the contracts of the board may be renewed,” said one board member.