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Zimbabwean President is Whittling Down the Powers of the Central Bank Governor

Under the watch of Governor John Mangudya, the Zimbabwean central bank has run up a debt of $4.2 billion — most of it owed to suppliers of commodities such as fuel, grain and electricity — in a bid to prop up the struggling economy. Mnangagwa, who is keeping an eye on Zimbabwe’s $12 billion in total external debt, has now put in place legal limitations on the powers of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe from borrowing in foreign currency. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) told Semafor Africa it supports some of the new measures that Zimbabwe put in place earlier this month as it tries to refocus the central bank. In an emailed statement, the IMF said it welcomes Zimbabwe’s moves to transfer the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) external loans to the government, highlighting that this “would contribute to reducing” the reserve bank’s overlap into non-monetary operations such as creating excess local liquidity.