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Mnangagwa caught between words and wallet

by Staff reporter
28 May 2024 at 09:53hrs | Views
In a scene reminiscent of a political satire, President Emmerson Mnangagwa found himself amidst a whirlwind of irony during a recent event at Nhakiwa Vocational Training Centre in Uzumba, where he launched the rebranded Youth Service in Zimbabwe Programme.

In a passionate speech encouraging youths to embrace the newly introduced local currency, Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG), Mnangagwa reached into his pockets and produced a thick wad of US$100 notes to give to Lands and Agriculture Minister Anxious Masuka. 
Masuka, clad in khaki farming attire, received the US$500 with a light-hearted comment from Mnangagwa, "Uchibva pano wonotenga suit chikomana" (From here, go and buy a suit).
The irony was palpable, casting doubt on Mnangagwa's commitment to the ZiG currency. This isn't the first instance of Mnangagwa publicly dispensing foreign currency, perhaps indicating a lack of confidence in the local currency. He previously gifted an 80-year-old man US$800 for dancing at his grandson's memorial.

Observers note the contrast between Mnangagwa's rhetoric advocating for local economic independence and his actions. While he champions ZiG in speeches, his gestures with US dollars raise questions about the government's efforts to uphold the value of the local currency.

Economist Gift Mugano highlights the challenge of ZiG's acceptance, emphasizing the importance of leaders using the local currency in public displays. Government services should also be conducted in ZiG to bolster confidence in the currency.

Mnangagwa's dilemma reflects broader complexities in fostering a localized economy. Despite his advocacy for ZiG, his actions underscore a disconnect between rhetoric and reality, prompting scrutiny of the government's currency policies.


Source - newsday
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