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Zimbabweans are distraught by financial trauma

22 May 2024 at 09:52hrs | Views
GOOD day, President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Your Excellency, as I see it, Zimbabweans are emotionally drained. They are overwhelmed by the severity of deprivation caused by the collapse of currencies. Verily, citizenry are distraught by financial trauma.

They no longer have trust in the government and such financial institutions as banks, life and investment insurance schemes. They now prefer to invest in funeral policies because many have lost life savings whose impact is sufficiently devastating to kill them twice over.

It is for their inexplicable motivation, coupled with the unyielding resolve to survive that they bear the vicissitudes of living through their reduced circumstances. If you ask me, they are laden with the burden of dire lives of survival on the borderline of debility due to the perpetuity of poverty.

It never dawned on me that I would witness such clumsy thought processes and subsequent launch as the debacle introduction of the Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG) currency. Methinks it was horribly haphazard and well below the dignity and expertise expected of the rollout of a new national currency.

Your Excellency, one particular contradiction that had me hold my heart in my hands was when the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor, John Mushayavanhu claimed that the Zimbabwe Bond currency, which had already been retired from circulation, was valid alongside the inflation prone ZiG.

It staggered the mind how a seasoned banker of his standing could attest that two local currencies could circulate concurrently. I was grateful to a fellow public debater who underscored that the rule of law requires laws to be certain, positively stated and uniformly applied without discrimination.

Yet, Mushayavanhu is not alone though in the debacles as ministers too are resorting to the contradictions of issuing directives, rather than policy, in their desperation to compel the acceptance of the ZiG. With all due respect, I would rather have them twiddle their thumbs than to issue contradictory statements.

Amid the issuance of government directives, local legal fundi, Fadzayi Mahere spoke against the use of government directives as substitutes for actual law. She asserted that ministerial statements do not automatically become enforceable laws.

"This nation will become a jungle if any public official could wake up and say do this or do not do that and force us to comply. Constitutionalism does not work like that," asserted Mahere. She underscored the importance of the return to principled governance where only enacted laws have binding effects.

Yet, there is not even a semblance of accountability and transparency on the part of government as far as the prevailing socio-economic hardships are concerned. It has a haughty disrespect of citizenry. It brazenly hogs along, oblivious of the fact that citizenry are distraught by financial trauma.

Methinks it was for such frigid administrations as the said Second Republic, an implacable opponent of ideals of accountability, that Thomas Paine warned against. His caution: "A body of men holding themselves accountable to nobody ought not be trusted by anybody," is pertinent to your said New Dispensation.

Your Excellency, your government robbed itself of trust in more ways than one. It deprived itself of the dignity and ethical conduct, which bona fide democracies are renowned for. Who on earth can esteem a regime that stoops so low as to assign chiefs to deliberate on the Gukurahundi massacres? Verily, there is no closure that will culminate from their sittings.

Although citizenry might not be experts on governance, they are insightful enough to know a thing or two about a plausible one that is worthy of belief and trust.

If ever there is one thing that citizenry know, it is that currencies are backed by trust. It is the hallmark of any currency to be the pride of citizenry. It must enjoy not only the trust, but the confidence as well that it will be a veritable store of valid durability, scarcity and accountability.

Considering that the ZiG cannot withstand inflationary pressures, nor can it purchase fuel, nor be used to pay for passports, it falls flat on its nose as a currency citizenry can embrace. Consequently, deja vu, the feeling that you have already experienced something that is actually happening sends a cautionary note to all and sundry, amid the ZiG introduction.

Verily, the launch strategy for the ZiG has been roundly reproachable. It is altogether a far cry of being letter-perfect. If you ask me, the processes are devoid of the requisite attention to detail that is originally expected of the dawn of the new era of currency stability.

What is unfolding in our midst is an untoward manipulative strategy, characterised by a series of contradictory statements by those who should be coherent and speaking with unison. Cry the beloved country, the excessive use of the police, instead of the monetary policy, so as the contradictions galore, hardly suffice to promote, let alone inspire acceptance of the ZiG.

There is no order in the madness of the unduly heavy handed enforcement to adhere to the exchange rate of the ZiG. It is my impassioned plea that the onslaught on money changers is misplaced zeal. I reckon that the American dollar is not a foreign currency in Zimbabwe, considering that our transactions are 80% dollarised.

If the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) was well and truly intelligent, as their departmental name implies, it should not have been necessary to unleash boots on kombis and money changers in a bid to enforce compliance to the ZiG exchange rate.

Verily, reading the Riot Act to money changers is all but a case of majoring in minors. With the revelation by the Prosecutor-General Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo that Zimbabwe is losing over US$1,8 billion annually through corruption and illicit financial flows, FIU ought to recalibrate its focus.

Your Excellency, like its predecessors, the ZiG is effete. It is much ado about nothing currency. Consequently, citizenry are distraught by financial trauma.

Cyprian Muketiwa Ndawana is a public-speaking coach, motivational speaker, speechwriter and newspaper columnist.

Source - newsday
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