Mushayavanhu writes to RBZ staff: We have lost the public’s trust. Winning it back must start with internal reform

(pic: Bloomberg)

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mushayavanhu has written to RBZ staff, saying he needs to reform the bank to restore lost public trust. These internal changes, he writes, will include restructuring the bank and rebranding. Here, we publish an extract from his message.

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We are aware that the market has lost confidence and trust in the credibility and impact of the Central Bank’s policies over the years, and this calls for a focused re-orientation and change in the way we do things in pursuit of our statutory mandate.

To rebuild our credibility and relevance, we must acknowledge that this is not “business as usual” and undertake personal transformation as well as develop a new “RBZ brand” to win back public confidence in the Central Bank. It is expected of all of us to adjust to accept this “Paradigm Shift” of a new work culture that will ingrain in us a responsibility to provide operational effectiveness and excellence.

I will make sure this is accomplished by going “Back-to-Basics” and supporting all RBZ staff who embark on this culture of adaptability and creativity in the way we execute our statutory tasks. To achieve this, it is imperative to acknowledge that “Our Strategy will be in our Structure”.

Our Change Agenda will push for the comprehensive re-organisation and re-orientation of the Bank’s tasks, people, structures, systems, culture, decision-making, and policy-making processes in order to successfully carry out our core commitments and obligations. The appropriate “re-organisation of the Reserve Bank” will, therefore, be carried out in two phases: Phase 1 has already started focusing on corporate diagnostics, and Phase 2 will follow soon after we complete the comprehensive and in-depth corporate diagnostics of the RBZ.

In Phase 1, the New RBZ core strategic pillars framework that informs the design and rebranding of the Bank, guided by the fundamental remit of maintaining price stability, and restoring market confidence and trust will be communicated to Management and Staff in due course. As Governor, I want to reassure all employees and re-affirm that Phase 2 is a normal process of learning the Bank’s operational framework and should not be deemed to result in job losses or retrenchments.

I will be requesting that each Division prepare a comprehensive information memorandum to help in the diagnostic process for Phase 2. This will allow me as your Governor to gain a solid understanding of the institution’s people, systems, procedures, and culture.

As a result, the Reserve Bank programs will be better packaged, resourced and structured to fulfil its statutory purpose in the next five years (2024–2029). The primary objectives of the “Back-to-Basics” Agenda will be to regain lost market trust and prevent undue harm to the Central Bank’s institutional credibility in policymaking.

In Conclusion

The Reserve Bank must present itself with dignified confidence in order to fulfil its obligations to the Zimbabwean people’s aspirations for improved social and economic well-being. We will start with our internal culture. Over the next five years, our strategic intent of restoring credibility, confidence, and trust will be achieved by “Walking the talk” – doing what we say we will do; doing the right things in the right manner the first time around; and ensuring that what we say will happen, so happens.