Zim extends bank chief's tenure

Zim extends bank chief's tenure

2008-11-26 12:57

Harare - Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has extended the tenure of central bank chief Gideon Gono who has presided over the world's highest inflation, state media announced on Wednesday.

The new tenure, effective from December 1, is expected to end in November 2013, The Herald quoted Finance Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi as saying.

"I congratulate Gideon Gono on his re-appointment," Mumbengegwi said.

When Gono assumed office in November 2003, inflation was 619.5% but the worsening economic conditions have seen it skyrocket to 213m% in July this year, according to official figures released last month.

The bank has introduced several measures to rein in hyperinflation, including striking off 10 zeros from the Zimbabwean currency and imposing bank withdrawal limits.

This year alone, the bank has introduced 24 new currency denominations, including a one-million-dollar note.

However, a 100 000 banknote is only worth one US dollar on the widely-used black market and is only half the amount needed to buy a loaf of bread.

The southern African nation is suffering from severe foreign exchange and fuel shortages and the majority of the population live below the poverty line.

Mugabe's government blames the country's economic meltdown on sanctions imposed by Britain and other Western nations.