President Robert Mugabe has appointed banker John Mangudya to head the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) at a time when the central bank’s power and influence have greatly diminished, finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said on Sunday.
The southern African country ditched its local currency in 2009 in favour of the U.S. dollar, leaving the RBZ unable to set interest rates or bail out troubled banks.
An economist by training, Mangudya is chief executive at CBZ Holdings, the country’s largest banking group by assets. He takes over from Gideon Gono, who put the RBZ printing press into overdrive to keep pace with hyper-inflation.
“I can confirm that the president has appointed John Mangudya as the new governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe,” Chinamasa told Reuters.
Mangudya worked for the central bank as an economist for 10 years until 1996 before joining the African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) as its manager for southern Africa.
His five-year term will start on May 1.