HomeOpinion & AnalysisColumnistsGuest column: Why we reject RBZ debt

Guest column: Why we reject RBZ debt


I propose that the Reserve Bank Debt Assumption Bill be renamed the Reserve Bank Debt Sanitisation Bill because it really is an attempt to sanitise the toxic Zanu PF debts created by Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) former governor Gideon Gono.

By Vince Musewe

Imagine that you go to your bank only to find out that the money you had been saving at the bank is no longer in the account.

You then ask where your money is and the bank tells you that there was a national emergency and they had to use that money. They then promise to pay you back sometime in the future and there is no promise of interest at all.

After a while, the bank ends up sitting on a debt of $1,3 billion being monies actually stolen from its clients. The bank then passes on this debt to the government and says the government now owes you that money.

But you must remember that the government does not make money; it is funded by you the taxpayer. So what this effectively implies is that the government will now use your taxes to pay you back the money you are owed.

You are, therefore, effectively paying yourself back through your own taxes and the bank goes scot-free of the liability.

That is exactly what this government and the Reserve Bank are intending to do. If we take this scenario further, we will then find out that the Reserve Bank “loaned” your money to predominantly Zanu PF cronies who received farming equipment including fleets of cars and other imports which we are not sure of.

So your money at the bank that you sweated for has been stolen by the RBZ and effectively oiled the Zanu PF patronage system at your expense.
You then find out that in most cases, the machinery purchased by your money for Zanu PF cronies was not even used to increase agricultural production, but has been sitting in a shed at some farm barns rusting away.

Worse, the RBZ is not willing to tell you to whom it “loaned” your money, but you must pay it back anyway. That is preposterous.

Now, even anyone with half his senses cannot accept this situation except, of course, the bank which stole your money and doesn’t want you to find out what it used it for and those who benefited from your stolen money.

We have even gone further to ask those in Parliament to pass the Bill for this theft — the very people who benefited from your stolen money. Surely this matter can only be resolved in the Constitutional Court and not a biased Parliament?

In fact, I propose that the Reserve Bank Debt Assumption Bill be renamed the Reserve Bank Debt Sanitisation Bill because it really is an attempt to sanitise Zanu PF toxic debts created by Gono. We must take it further.

In my opinion, if there is any crime against humanity, it is the one committed by Gono at the Reserve Bank by impoverishing millions of hardworking, honest Zimbabweans and propping up Zanu PF political interests at the expense of every Zimbabwean.

This is the same political party that has abused us and decimated this economy including the creation of massive unemployment through its policies while denying any responsibility whatsoever.

When a whole Finance minister, Patrick Chinamasa, can support this fraud with a straight face and say that the activities of the Reserve Bank saved this country despite the obvious facts that RBZ activities led to the collapse of this economy, the demise of our national currency, a world record-breaking hyperinflation, massive destruction of personal wealth for many and the creation of a debt that effectively made the Reserve Bank a bankrupt organisation unable, to this day, to implement its constitutional mandate, I have serious issues with that. It is a serious lack of judgment and offensive proposition which we must strongly reject with the contempt it deserves.

To this day, Zimbabweans no longer trust our financial institutions. As a result, massive funds that could be deposited and better used to create employment are sitting outside the banking system.

I will not even talk here about the cost to the economy of us having to use other people’s currencies. It is my view that Zimbabwe has actually not fully recovered since 2008 because this government has pretended that all is well. The opportunities lost are just too ghastly to contemplate.
What needs to be done is actually very simple and straightforward: Those who borrowed and owe must pay back the money.

Our problem is again here that we are not united against the continued abuse of office by this government and despite our awareness of the rot, we simply cannot be effective as lone voices.

The issue of the Reserve Bank debt being forced down our throats is a true reflection of the insensitivity of this government to the plight of ordinary citizens. They feel entitled to power and to our national resources.

Non-accountability to the public at large is common within all State enterprises and the government as a whole. I anxiously await a thorough audit of all State enterprises where we shall, no doubt, find massive abuse and theft. Sadly, I doubt anyone will answer for it because that is the nature of this beast.

The Zimbabwe we want must be a country where public resources are accounted for as a matter of course and where corruption is purged without fear or favour.

Unfortunately, that is not about to happen because so much has been stolen for so long that if we were to unearth it all, this government would be forced to resign.

I am almost sure that we shall be all shocked at the extent of the abuse and rot when we take over government. No wonder why Zanu PF will fight to the death to stay in power and therefore avoid scrutiny.

God help us, we got problems.

Vince Musewe is an author and economist. You can contact him on vtmusewe@gmail.com

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