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Open letter to RBZ governor Mangudya

28 Jun 2020 at 08:07hrs | Views
Dear Governor,
I hope I find you well and in good spirits in your office on Samora Machel Avenue, Harare.

My last article, Arresting Inflation in Zimbabwe, a couple of weeks back drew brickbats and a stormy whiplash from readers of this newspaper.

Many readers said you, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor, should be held accountable for the unfolding collapse of the Zimbabwe dollar in broad daylight. A kinder reader said you have not done anything new. You have just done what you saw the previous governor doing without recognising the dire circumstances the country is in. others labelled you the "most visible agent provocateur".

I felt the angst of a whole suffering nation as one reader singled you out and declared fatwa for the country's woes suggesting that in ancient times you would have been dragged outside the city gates for stoning for the crime of failing the treasury of the king . . .Heavens forbid in these modern times.

You once said you would resign if Bond notes (or must we now call it ZimBonDollar?) failed. But you are still clinging to office. Do you wish to see more failure than what we are seeing already?

Is there any justification for this onslaught against you, sir?

At a recent Parliamentary Committee hearing on the fuel industry, you mesmerised parliamentarians with statistics, figures and your big-bang theory of indiscipline by fuel sector players. Your figures convinced parliamentarians that all was well from the financial perspective of which you are the superintendent. one parliamentarian even applauded you "for doing a splendid job in very difficult circumstances".

The spewing-out of statistics and figures you did (you have become quite a showman at this) reminded me of a character called Squealer in George orwell's classic novel Animal Farm. In very grim circumstances, Squealer would boost the morale of many while puzzling others by presenting rosy statistics, which suggested that in spite of the suffering of the majority, the situation was manageable and under control and very promising indeed.

In my last article for this newspaper, I suggested that your introduction of the Interbank Market in Zimbabwe was ill-timed and done as an "act of washing hands". How so?

The phrase "act of washing hands" is based on the Biblical story of the trial of Jesus Christ by the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, who found the Son of Man (read the Z$) innocent of any crime. However, due to public demand and pressure by the Jews (read detractors, speculators and agent provocateurs), the governor handed Jesus Christ over to them. So history is being repeated here and you are doing to the Zimbabwe dollar what your fellow governor Pontius Pilate did to Jesus Christ.

But you have gone a step further. You have ordered the value of the Zimbabwe dollar to be determined by public auction (Casino Royale) and you think this is a master stroke. Your praise singers have gone into overdrive applauding you.

Yet this is worse than what the soldiers did when they cast lots to determine who amongst them would acquire the clothes of Jesus Christ. They did not do an auction as you are now proudly doing because it would have raised the cost of the garment. So they showed more wisdom on the issue than you have been able to muster in that regard.

Allow me please to remind you of a couple of characteristics of money.

- A store of value
- A source of national pride. You have failed to make the Zimbabwe dollar a store of value and you have allowed it to become a source of national shame. All across the world central banks keep their currencies in acceptable parameters by intervening decisively to maintain value. But you have unleashed wolves upon the national currency in broad daylight and you have found a way of washing your hands of the responsibility vested upon you.

The previous governor of the RBZ wrote a book called, Zimbabwe's Casino Economy or something to that effect. You are certainly proudly upholding his legacy as you have now invited speculators, detractors, genuine businesses and agent provocateur James Bond to partake in your "Casino Royale" to crucify the national currency.

Mr Governor, I want to leave you with a nugget if you have the ears for it. It's an old Turkish proverb. "No matter how far you have travelled down the wrong road, turn back."

What the country needs from you is a stable and predictable exchange rate so that business can plan and perform in a normal manner. This toy called a YoYo which you have come up with belongs to Jo Jo the clown. The world is laughing at you and the circus you are running in your esteemed office.

You have no other option to take except the Gold Standard.

Yours sincerely,
Bart Star-James
0774447309, 0719930568

Source - The Standard
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