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To see the saboteur, Mr President, look in the mirror

by Staff reporter
23 May 2023 at 06:40hrs | Views

HAVE we seriously gone back to blaming ghosts and shadows for the economy bottoming out?

Are we going to be turning every stone, nook, and cranny looking for perceived "saboteurs" instead of dealing with the elephant in the room?

Why is this government fond of burying its head in the sand like an ostrich just to avoid making hard decisions?

In his column in a government-controlled weekly, President Emmerson Mnangagwa accused businesses of deliberately hiking prices to boot him and his Zanu PF government out of power in the general elections expected in August.

Sure, arguments can be made, and quite easily might we add, as to why Mnangagwa and Zanu PF no longer deserve power, but the truth is that for now, they have the economy firmly in their grip.

Let us not forget one of their favourite taglines: "Chinhu Chedu", although the Constitution disagrees since Zimbabwe belongs to everyone.

So, with the economy in their grip, it's strange for the President to threaten business over something that is firmly in his control.

Oh, and with that threat on business, good luck in your efforts to lure investors. We hope that when investors complain about heightened political risk because of these types of threats, you won't blame "sanctions".

However, we digress.

What we are saying and what government already knows is that the price hikes are not the fault of business but that of government policies.

With the Zimbabwe dollar lacking commodity support, significant foreign currency reserves, and more importantly, market confidence, the currency was always doomed to fail.

What is merely happening now is a desperate attempt by business to save the value of their goods and services.

The truth is that no sane business operator can buy from their suppliers using a rate of US$1:$3 200, aka the parallel forex market rate, aka the real rate, and resell using the official rate of US$1:$1 442,73. No one!

Using this method will lead to losses and eventually, business collapse, as this represents a loss of over 100%.

Which sane business would do otherwise?

Businesses are just chasing the dollar, not our dollar, but the United States dollar as the Zimdollar is a failed experiment and it's time we admit that.

It's time we put this genie back in the bottle because its magic has become black and is wreaking havoc on the economy.

Are there some who are using this to inflate prices? Sure, but the onus is on government to allow for a truly market-driven economy to find the true value of the Zimdollar. Only then can the parallel forex rate be annihilated.

The money supply was $3,19 trillion at the end of March, a 9,12% increase from February, a near 37% increase from December 2022, and about 442% increase from March 2022.

All this was supported by just 4% growth in the economy, using Treasury statistics, showing that government actions have been highly inflationary.

When you print a lot of money without the concomitant economic growth, the currency loses value, and our esteemed Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya and Finance minister Mthuli Ncube know better.

The question is not what is going on? We already know that; but what are you as government going to do about it?

The only power Zimbabweans have against government to redress these issues is the ballot box and this must be exercised, otherwise nothing will change.

In fact, it's only going to worsen.

Young girls must not aspire to be side chicks of the rich and crooked, young men must not aspire to be cash dealers, and government must deliver on its mandate based on the Constitution.

At a time like this, we quote a leader who is considered one of the best Presidents of the United States, number 35, John Fitzgerald Kennedy: "Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country."

The voters need to ask themselves what can they do for their country because the policies won't, and government needs to stop focusing on sections of the economy without power.

Do what needs to be done!

Source - newsday