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Prophets of doom and limited vocabulary

by Staff reporter
07 May 2016 at 20:12hrs | Views
Yesterday, one newspaper led with the headline, "Panic as Zim economy dies".

We were not surprised as such by the headline and the cynicism that is the hallmark of this opposition newspaper.

The story was in response to the planned introduction of bond notes by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe on the back of a $200 million nostro facility availed by Afreximbank.

The paper divined that the intervention, which comes after a similar issuance of bond coins – in fact the beginning thereof – in 2014, spelt the death of the economy.

"There is palpable fear that the country has plumped the depilating economy depths of 2007-2008 when shops were empty and inflation hit world record levels, resulting in untold pain and suffering for the majority of citizens," we were told.

(We are not sure what "plump[ing] depilating economy depths" is – for that sounds gobbledygook – but it must be something very bad and scary.)

"As a result, the talk among most ordinary folk in Harare yesterday who have some money in banks was how quickly they could withdraw all their funds – intentions that triggered a fear of a run on banks which could worsen the economic crisis.

"At the same time, and as Zimbabwe lurches towards its latest full-blown economic disaster – spawned by the continuing lack of political legitimacy and sound governance in the country – analysts and opposition parties alike said it was time that President (Mugabe) and his 'economically illiterate' lieutenants vacated office."

The Daily News, for this is the paper that we are talking about, is so fond of dramatising and sensationalising events, even the most banal ones if it serves the purpose of its opposition MDC-T cousins.

However, their greatest downfall appears to be that the paper and its writers lack the vocabulary to sustain the tall propaganda tales they yarn.

As such, we have heard the story about the "dying" economy so many times before – and have we not lost count?

That word, that morbid wish, has been party of the lexicon and shelf at the paper and has been used so freely and so carelessly that it has lost its weight.

And yesterday when it was announced to us that the economy had died, it begged a lot of questions: Had the economy died, finally? Or dead finally, finally?

Or is it "finally, finally, finally dead?"

Such is the gratuitous manner in which the newspaper has disingenuously used, nay abused, that word such that to the reader it must by now have lost its meaning.

For, this Saturday morning as you read, dear, the economy that has afforded you a dollar to buy a newspaper or internet credit and other daily requirements, is dead!

It was supposedly dead the moment the Daily News went to the streets with its screaming headline but still expecting people to buy the newspaper to sustain its operations in a dead economy!

It all sounds crazy, does it not?

But then it has all to do with a prophet of doom that has run out of vocabulary.

Prophets by their very biblical nature were cryptic and brief interlocutors.

They were not even required to make their prophecies everyday: they could say something today which would happen many years later.

Because today's political prophets of doom in Zimbabwe are nattering vessels that have to chatter all day and every day.

This only results in the economy dying every day.

Interestingly, these nattering prophets do not even announce the resurrection of the economy for it to die again – and again.

When facts get in the way

There is an interesting aspect of the story though, which could possibly point to cognitive dissonance being suffered by the writers and editors at the paper.

In one brilliant flash, they explain the real context within which the introduction of bond notes is being made.

We are told that, "…the hardworking governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, John Mangudya, announced on Wednesday that he would introduce new local 'bond notes' within the next few months, to ease the country's acute shortage of cash — while staunchly denying that he was returning the much derided Zim-dollar back.

"The bond notes… (are) to be backed by a $200 million loan facility from the Cairo-based African Export Import Bank."

The facts that RBZ chief is "hardworking" (which is a rare compliment); that the notes would be introduced "within the next few months", "to ease the country's acute shortage of cash" and that Mangundya "staunchly" denied the return of the Zim- dollar should ordinarily have been strong points to build confidence in the uninformed public.

However, would these facts, moreso the existence of a US$200 million bond, which basically means that Zimbabwe is safe with bond currency and has actually moved to arrest a crisis, would not be let in the way of a good story!

How dissonant!

What it tells us is that some people actually know better but choose to misinform and mislead the public.

It is such a shameful tragedy.

What we know for a fact is that a lot of ink was then spilled uselessly giving swathes of space to the likes of Tendai Biti who for reasons best suited to him said the introduction of the bond notes was a "return of the Zimbabwe dollar" and "marks the gross admission by this regime that it has failed and failed in absolute terms and that it will drag everyone along the plunge to the abyss that awaits this economy".

Morgan Tsvangirai's spokesman, Luke Tamborinyoka, is as banal as he is empty telling us that, "bond coins, bond notes and zvihuta (quails) is a concoction of failure. It can only confirm a bond leadership in Government".

It does not take much to see that this is absolute, sensational crap from the opposition which has very little to contribute to nation building and all they are looking for is an elusive window for regime change.

The Daily News, although apparently knowing better, has to elevate this same absolute, sensational crap.

Their life depends on it.

Source - the herald