Sunday, October 3, 2010

Gono gives RBZ clean bill of health

Saturday, 02 October 2010 18:27

THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) say it is on course to be operationally ready to resume its lender-of-last-resort role.

The move is likely to restore confidence in the troubled financial services sector.

RBZ stopped playing the lender-of-last-resort role in 2008 creating fears that the local financial institutions were now susceptible to shocks in the event of problems in the sector.

RBZ governor, Gideon Gono told Standardbusiness on the sidelines of the Sadc Central Banks meeting on Friday that once the central bank is ready, Treasury will disburse the money.

He said they were not performing that role, not because the Ministry of Finance had not disbursed the money but for other technical reasons.

“The Minister of Finance has written to the governor and is on record as saying as soon as they are operationally ready he would disburse the money to kick-start that process.

“Unfortunately we have not been operationally ready but we are there now. We should be able to begin the process,” Gono said.

RBZ is in the process of rationalising its staff in line with the new focus of sticking to the bank’s core business.

Gono said rationalisation is one of the items on the agenda but would not commit himself on the numbers involved because “it will be pre-emptive of me to report on where we are to the public before we have concluded matters and reported to our principals”.

Meanwhile, the 31st meeting of the Committee on Central Bank Governors from the Sadc region ended in Harare on Friday with 15 central bank governors and 30 senior officials in the region in attendance.

Gono said the mere fact that the meeting was held in Zimbabwe got certain directional signals to others about their perception of the venue and the country.

“You cannot wish away Zimbabwe’s central bank, you cannot prescribe it out of existence, you cannot hope to achieve economic turnaround let alone stability and growth outside the involvement of your central bank,” Gono said.

“These men and women showing their weight to come over here is a great tribute to the country, an indication that our country is stable, turning around and they now want to see and understand Zimbabwe more.”

BY NDAMU SANDU - The Standard

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