YESTERDAY’S suspension of four senior Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) directors fingered in fuelling the parallel market rates between the United States dollar and the bond notes, which has resulted in basic commodity prices skyrocketing and in short supply, is an opportunity for government and law enforcement agents to dig deeper to the bottom of this mess. We applaud RBZ governor John Mangudya for his swift action.
While we believe the suspensions were sensible at this time, we do not want to believe that it had to take William Mutumanje, also know as Acie Lumumba, to expose this rot, especially with the kind of State security apparatuses that Zimbabwe boasts of.
It is also our hope that the “New Dispensation” has not decided to take the population for a ride simply to divert attention from its failure to steward the economy.
Mutumanje is a rank outsider and why would government decide to give him the job to expose its system if this is all not about political expediency.
We smell a rat here. There could be more to the suspensions than meets the eye – political contestations over control of levers of power than the economy.
Whatever it is, cash barons and other economic saboteurs must face justice. It would be a tragic turn of events that will deflate whatever little scraps of confidence the nation has in President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government, should this turn out to be much ado about nothing such as the sham trials of former ministers Ignatius Chombo, Walter Mzembi and Samuel Undenge.
This is what we have seen in Zanu PF regimes of the past where some individuals or companies would be named and shamed for externalising foreign currency, but with no action taken against the individuals. Even as citizens celebrate or berate Mutumanje’s exposé, we still require details of what transpired to the nearly 100kg gold and US$4 million in cash which was seized by the police from business of Asian origin towards the July 30 elections.
Instead of arresting the culprits, government quickly arranged a meeting with the community where they urged many to support candidates for councillors and MPs from their communities. Whose money was it anyway?
Thorough investigations should be carried out and appropriate measures taken if these individuals and their said network are found on the wrong side of the law. A few rotten individuals, be it at the RBZ or elsewhere in government structures, cannot be allowed to hold the entire nation to ransom like this.
It is indeed time to clean up the mess, and if they were politicians involved in this scam, then the arm of the law should not be shortened.
It should reach wherever they are so that they are brought to account for their treasonous misdemeanours.
The transparency and good corporate governance upon which Mangudya said this decision was based should become a culture in both the financial services sector and State institutions. These characters should be unmasked and face the music. In fact, whoever is involved with this cartel should be uncovered and face the music.
These individuals have done significant damage not only to the economy, but have wrought untold suffering to the poor majority who suddenly found themselves in sixes and sevens with their bond notes becoming no more than garden manure when they had been assured that the money in their accounts had the same value as United States dollars.
Such selfish, self-centred and greedy characters as leaders or business people with no scruples have no place in the Zimbabwe we are all trying to build. These are the saboteurs who would rather continue living pretty while the rest of us walk through hell.
Institutions like the RBZ must be staffed by men and women of integrity who are committed to the development and progress of this nation.
Miscreants are enemies of the State and should be treated as such. They should never be allowed to hold an entire nation to ransom as these individuals have been allowed to do for so long a time. We need a new culture and a new way of doing things if we are to win the international confidence we desperately need for us to move forward.