Zimbabwe’s controversial President Robert Mugabe has appointed economist John Mangudya as governor of the country’s central bank, state media reported today. Mangudya succeeds Gideon Gono, whose term expired in December after a 10-year tenure marred by world-record hyperinflation that eventually forced the country to abandon its currency. Currently the chief executive officer of CBZ, the country’s biggest bank by assets, Mangudya will take the reins at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe in May, said the state-run Sunday Mail.
He previously worked for the central bank as an economist for 10 years before joining the African Export-Import Bank in 1996. He holds economics degrees from the University of Zimbabwe and a doctorate in business administration from Washington University. Under Gono, a close ally of longtime ruler Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s inflation rate reached an official peak of 230 million percent, though independent economists put the figure much higher.
The crisis forced the country to print denominations such as the 100 trillion Zimbabwe dollar as prices changed several times a day and residents suffered severe shortages, including food. Zimbabwe abandoned its currency in 2009, and the US dollar is now widely used.