Gono's 'deadline extension-hint' welcome

HARARE - A hint by Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono that he may consider extending an olive branch to banks, which are struggling to meet his new recapitalisation thresholds is welcome in many ways.

His statements, although not definitive, will not only serve as a relief to bankers themselves, but depositors too in that they dampen anxiety about the safety of their cash or deposits in the aftermath of the 2003-2008 financial crisis.

While we are not discounting the need for solid banks and reforms in this key sector, Gono’s latest clues must be viewed as mature, conciliatory and well-timed for a nation hurtling towards his December 31 deadline.

Despite one’s political affiliation, orientation or allegiance, the importance of this small band of men and women cannot be overemphasised – in any nation’s socio-economic development – hence the need to proceed with any reforms with care or caution.

Without a doubt, the experiences of yesteryear are less than flattering, to say the least or put it mildly and regulatory authorities have also been found wanting in protecting the distressed depositor since eight years ago.

While it is not Gono and the Central Bank’s role alone in safeguarding the interests of multiple stakeholders, the bankers themselves – and not all of them – have been a scar on our conscience and, by running wild, have allowed politicians to crack down on them.

In that vein, President Robert Mugabe, his deputy Joice Mujuru and Tendai Biti are thus justified in calling for policy interventions and the incarceration of errant bankers, who believe the Bernard Mardoff route, is the way to go for banking apprentices at the National University of Science and Technology.

For those with an inclination to this kind of approach, we say no and hooray to Gono, Mugabe and Mujuru’s call! Pasi nema-rogue bankers and pamberi nebudiriro yenyika!

However, a cautious, inclusive and far-reaching approach – which we hope the RBZ boss is doing – to resolve the country’s banking troubles is needed, if not inescapable, to ensure that no one cries foul in the end.

For their part – and as Gono tells us – bankers have been playing ball in trying to resolve this capitalisation conundrum or issue that has haunted this market for years.

At any rate, Zimbabwe is a dollarised economy where our monetary policy has not only been obliterated, but seen banks struggle even more, hence the need for a more cautious approach to these planned reforms. - Staff Writer

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.