WAR veterans have joined the chorus of Zimbabweans agitating against the introduction of bond notes, describing the move as a desperate ploy by a failed government.
BY RICHARD CHIDZA
In resolutions made following countrywide meetings with the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWVA) members, the group resolved to demand that President Robert Mugabe sets up a commission of inquiry into the disappearance of over $15 billion in diamond revenue, an end to corruption and the sacking of Energy minister Samuel Undenge.
ZNLWVA spokesperson, Douglas Mahiya confirmed the resolutions, accusing top government officials of creating artificial cash shortages and “then turning around to announce they will print bond notes”.
“The printing of bond notes is a sign of government failure. The fact that they are resorting to printing bond notes to deal with the current crisis is not a sign that government has excelled. It has failed,” he said.
“This is supposed to be a people’s government, which should derive its power from citizens. We need to see the democratic aspect of governance in policies such as the issuing of bond notes.”
“Government must listen to its people. Zimbabweans must be consulted, educated and their concerns taken into account before the bond notes are introduced. Those in power or close to it are the ones with the money and they will mop up every saving that our people have using the bond notes. It’s a ploy to benefit from another black market corruption and that is wrong. It can only leave the people high and dry.”
Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor, John Mangudya have been at pains to explain the rationale behind the bond notes set to be introduced in October this year. A sceptical public has grilled the pair and accused monetary authorities of seeking to re-introduce the Zimdollar “through the back door”.
Chinamasa and Mangudya have, however, said the government is committed to continue with the multi-currency system “until the economy can support the return of the local currency” dumped by ordinary citizens at the height of the hyper-inflationary era in 2008.
In March, Mugabe left Zimbabweans shocked after revealing during an interview with the State media that at least $15 billion of the country’s diamond revenue had been spirited out of the country.
The President did not give details or an indication that there was an investigation going on. Opposition parties reacted with anger and the MDC-T has rolled out demonstrations across the country to protest against corruption and plunder.
War veterans have also added their voice demanding that Mugabe investigates the issue expeditiously.
“It is only natural that we properly investigate the disappearance of the $15 billion, it cannot be business as usual. The issue must be investigated fully. We want a commission of inquiry that includes war veterans because we know if they do it on their own, they will hide information especially if the investigation fingers their colleagues and relatives or those in positions of power,” one of the resolutions read.
The former freedom fighters also demanded that Mugabe fires Energy minister Samuel Undenge, currently embroiled in a damaging $5 million tender scandal involving shadowy businessman, Wicknell Chivayo.
Chivayo has strong links to Mugabe’s family and was awarded a $400 million tender by the Zimbabwe Power Company that has now come under scrutiny.