HARARE — Some political activists held a meeting with Zimbabwe’s central bank governor John Mangudya on Wednesday and Thursday to express their disatisfaction over the bank’s moves to introduce bond notes.
The activists, drawn from various organizations including Pastor Evan Mawarire of #ThisFlag movement, told Mangudya that the bond notes, designed to boost exports, would fuel recession in the country that is now set to grow by at least 1,5 percent this year instead of the initially projected 2,7 percent due to lack of foreign direct investment, fears over the country’s indigenization law, policy inconsistencies and other issues.
High on the agenda was the continued economic meltdown with the imminent introduction of bond notes dominating the debate.
The governor was told that Zimbabweans are rejecting the bond notes as they are illegal.
After the meeting Mawarire handed over a ‘token of appreciation’ to Mangudya.
Maureen Kademaunga, a PHD candidate at Pretoria University, said they told Mangudya to use conventional ways of reviving the economy instead of introducing bond notes.
She said Mangudya wanted to avoid discussions on bond notes, an indication that he will soon introduce the bond notes.
At the same time, Pastor Mawarire said they pressed the governor to listen to people’s discontent over the bond notes, which are likely to devastate the Zimbabwe economy.
Meanwhile, opposition parties have urged the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to press for significant political and economic reforms before releasing any new lines of credit to Zimbabwe.
In a statement, the Movement for Democratic Change led by Morgan Tsvangirai and former Finance Minister Tendai Biti’s People’s Democratic Party, said the IMF appears to be ignoring public discontent over the current deteriorating economic and political situation in Zimbabwe.
An IMF delegation is currently visiting Zimbabwe under a Staff Monitored Program. The Bretton Woods institution recently praised Zimbabwe for embarking on what it termed some visible financial reforms but noted that the economic situation is deteriorating fast in the country.
The IMF urged Zimbabwe at a meeting in Lima, Peru, a couple of months ago, to carryout major social, economic and political reforms before getting new lines of credit.
Critics say the government, which is saddled with an external debt of almost $9 billion, is dragging its feet on implementing these reforms.
Deputy spokesperson George Mkhwanazi of the People’s Democratic Party said the IMF should consult all stakeholders before releasing any lines of credit to Zimbabwe.