ZIMBABWE is a very unfortunate country with a people who are treated like jumping jacks at every turn.
This must be the only country on this planet where nothing is guaranteed and everything can just change in the blink of an eye. This must be the only country in the universe where a government can change laws with impunity just for the kicks. This must be the only place in our galaxy where political expediency takes precedence over common sense.
In less than a week things have moved so dramatically that many have been left speechless, dumbfounded by our government’s knee-jerk economic measures that have not only worsened our plight, but have also turned us into an international circus spectacle.
Last Saturday, President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his coterie in government announced a cocktail of economic measures that included that banks stop lending forthwith. And before the shocked bank executives had barely managed to utter the word: “Ah! Mnangagwa’s monetary chief, John Mangudya had grabbed the hailer threatening to “name and shame” all heavy borrowers.
“In the wake of manipulation of the exchange rate by some borrowers of large amounts to the detriment of consumers, the bank reserves the right to publish the names of significant borrowers across the banking sector in the public interest,” said Mangudya in a statement, leaving many with mouths agape.
These jaw-dropping events are not only damaging the country’s economy and denting investor confidence in the process, they are also soiling the second republic’s already muddied image.
But, honestly speaking, why should a whole central bank worth its salt be seized with seemingly political machinations?
Many have aptly asked: “Is it now a crime to borrow large sums of money? And if the monetary authorities, indeed, have proof that some people who have been borrowing large sums of money have been using the money to manipulate the exchange rate, would it not have been more prudent if the monetary authorities had targeted them quietly and probably tell us later that so and so has been charged with such and such a crime under the Banking Act.”
Besides, past experience informs us that this “name and shame” threat has been nothing but a charade.
Name and shame, then what?
We are now being forced to believe that Mangudya and his team at the central bank are not their own selves.
Notwithstanding that Mangudya has said Zimbabweans misinterpreted him the last time when he said he would resign if the bond notes failed to weather the storm, we challenge him to again say he will resign if these new economic measures fail.
Unless, of course, if he is not his own man and is just playing to the gallery because something metallic is being pressed on his lower ribs, then we will excuse him for acting awkwardly as far as crafting a sound monetary policy direction for this country.
Otherwise, as far as we see it, all these shenanigans are simply political games which have nothing to do with our almost dead economy. All this hubbub has nothing to do with Zimbabweans’ welfare and livelihoods, period.
Cry our beloved country!