By Brian Sedze
ZIMBABWE has no willpower to adopt the local currency because its implementation rests with the top leadership, political arena and those who won’t follow the rules of the game, the crony capitalists.
Afghanistan banned the use of foreign currency like the President said they would do in his statement of intent during his address in Muzvezve. His sentiments were echoed by Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe a week earlier as I got to understand from the Zimbabwe Independent of April 14, 2022.
However, no one in corporate and political leadership has the willpower to see it through because most of their friends will get broke. It is only the small crooks who will face the wrath of the law. There is no big fish in politics or crony capitalism network who will lose sleep over the consequences of the envisaged law.
In Afghanistan the success, not of the economy but use of the Afghani currency, is certain because they don’t joke.
In the Taliban ruled country, they will imprison anyone who flouts the ban and mostly they will make you face the firing squad. These actions are relentlessly ruthless regardless of your position in society.
They also generally despise the West and its ways so they don’t import luxuries like Western clothes, jewellery, cars etc so their imports are mostly for necessities.
The citizens there are generally less consumptive than most of our people which derive pleasure in mimicking every aspect of Western consumptive behaviour on luxuries.
In Zimbabwe I don’t hold my breath the ban or such action to adopt local currency will work.
First, they cannot imprison and do worse things about flouting the ban because it is those at the top and in country leadership who will be top offenders. Jails in Zimbabwe are for small time crooks.
Second, our standard of good life is imported products mostly luxury …. so that money will have to be found on alternative markets which makes demand for the US dollar almost constant.
Third, even if it was a good idea no one trusts the institutions and leader of Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe in implementing a robust and final currency reform so the economy will still self-dollarise and do so underground. Perception always kills the Zimdollar even defying fundamentals.
Fourth, no one in business wants that money anymore because to manufacture and import by following the rigmarole of forex bids cause supply chain bottlenecks.
Fifth, without other measures it will drive the economy underground or into massive shortages. This was the type of economy during the Gonomics era.
Sixth, Zimbabwe has no challenge of currency and even costs. Our challenge is revenue and production. Without break through economic growth and exports we shall always have forex shortages.
Seventh, this will be the umpteenth currency reform and 50+ statutory instrument so no sane person will still believe the Zimdollar is a store of value …. in fact soon long-term investments, savings and pensions are about to suffer another reckless molestation.
A local currency is great but give us impartial enforcement, credible and consistent RBZ and Finance ministry. Finality in policy and strategic direction, transparent forex allocation, a more viable retention policy for exporters and farmers and fire some people.