Cash Crunch: Students Demand Mangudya Exit

Thursday, 11 May 2017  Radio VOP

HARARE - The Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) has demanded the immediate resignation of Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor John Mangudya for failing to deal with the country’s crippling cash crisis.

Speaking at a press conference in Harare on Tuesday, ZINASU secretary general Makomborero Haruzivishe said the country’s education system has been badly affected by the cash crunch, which started a year ago.

“The current cash crisis is affecting the students so badly since banks queues are still there.

“As students, we cannot swipe for our kombi fares and other needs. Some students now spend time in queues trying to get their money and this compromises our education.

“The government is not concerned about our welfare as the students. They are not clueless but only concerned with power and wealth accumulation,” he said.

In a bid to ease the crisis, government, through the central bank, last year introduced bond notes to work in tandem with the multi-currency system dominated by the US dollar.

Mangudya argued this was the panacea to a crisis which was exacerbated by low confidence in the country’s formal banking system and a giant import bill.

Nearly half a year on, bank queues still remain outside most banking halls with signs the crisis was worsening.

Schools opened for the second term on Tuesday while universities have continued with parents still failing to access their cash from banks that have struggled to meet the cash demands.

Introducing bond notes in 2016, Mangudya promised Zimbabweans the surrogate currency would not fail him.

If they did, he declared, he was going to resign from his post as central bank boss.

On Tuesday afternoon, it looked like his promises were coming back to haunt him with the ZINASU national leadership saying students were among the most affected by the crisis.

Haruzivishe said the campus environment only allowed them to use hard cash.

He demanded Mangudya to keep his word to resign, short of which the militant students group would force him to do so.

“We demand the resignation of the RBZ governor John Mangudya since he promised Zimbabweans that if bond notes fail, he would resign from his post.

“If he is lazy to write his own resignation letter, we will write it and give him for his signature,” added Haruzivishe.

Mangudya, on his part, has blamed the worsening cash crisis on large retail outlets that are keeping cash generated through daily sales for speculative purposes.

The country’s opposition blames the crisis to the Zanu PF led government’s failed policies.

President Robert Mugabe said during his annual birthday interview February this year that he also did not trust local banks with his cash.

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