ERC welcomes new Zec commissioners

THE Election Resource Centre (ERC) welcomes the appointment of Abigail Millicent Mohadi Ambrose and others

THE Election Resource Centre (ERC) welcomes the appointment of Catherine Mpofu, Abigail Millicent Mohadi Ambrose, Jane Mbetu Nzvenga, Kudzai Shava, Rosewita Murutare and Shepard Manhivi as Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) commissioners.

The six are replacing commissioners whose term of office came to an end on July 6, 2022.

In light of this, the ERC encourages the commissioners to conduct their duties in a non-partisan and independent manner as stipulated by the Constitution and in line with their oath of office.

In an environment marred by a Zec credibility crisis, the ERC reminds the newly-appointed commissioners that their mandate is to ensure that elections are conducted efficiently, freely, transparently and in accordance with Constitution, regional and international principles binding free and fair elections.-ERC

Gold coins: The good, bad, ugly

I JUST want to share these notes because it may help someone, somewhere and somehow.

Gold coins can preserve or increase or destroy value. Their value depend on a lot of economic and geo-political dynamics. So in the medium to long term, it is not guaranteed that buying coins preserve value.

In it all, don’t expect value to increase by over 30% in any year yet we are in a country with margins of 30% per month, inflation at 200% and expected rate of return in any business in hundreds per annum.

So using gold coins with belief they only yield positive returns above inflation and exchange rate losses is not exactly scientific. You may incur loses.

Now, if one has an option to buy gold coins and alternative investment, it is most likely the gold coins will be a bad investment. If one uses the money to buy goats, cows or grow tobacco or import and distribute fast-moving consumer goods, among others, one will preserve the capital, grow it and make better profits.

This product is expensive at US$1 800 per coin. The government has chosen to support business in value preservation. It is unfortunate the  government introduced gold coins to appease wealthy people, not for peasants and workers. They, however, will be remembered when  the government wants votes.

In it all, remember that capital is triumphing over mitigating your suffering.

The reason why people fall for pyramid schemes and fraud is because of information asymmetry and involving one self in something they don’t understand.

Common people don’t understand gold futures, gold trade and pricing, hedging, etc, so it is dangerous to invest in a product one doesn’t understand. A mass product must be simple for everyone to comprehend.

International banks employ experts to just work around the future of gold as one of investment alternatives. This is a product they intend us to explain to a villager in Chiendambuya that a gold coin is worth more than five beasts. It can’t be a mass product when we do that. The government is simply representing the rich and sacrificing the poor.

The dual manner of purchase mean profit can be made simply from buying using Zimdollars then sell on the alternative market in US dollars or such other methods. It requires some financial sophistication. It is folly to still have something that the president said was comprehensive and complete yet it still create more arbitrage. Arbitrage benefits the monied, not the poor.

Most people don’t understand gold and certification. The clever ones can enter the market with counterfeit coins. It is a little complex to decipher the difference without intimate knowledge of gold and its multiple attributes. If you can buy a fake gold chain or ring, it is possible on coins too.

Don’t chase waterfalls. Stick to rivers and lakes you are used to. Something you can’t explain to your grandmother or 12-year-old son is a lot complex than how money, banking and finance was intended to be.

The insanity is on dangerous drugs. They buy gold in US dollars, mint it, certify it, then boom they sell it in Zimdollars and at interbank rate. If one knows basic maths, it makes no sense. It is quite sad that the government is are creating more arbitrage opportunities.

The country need less complex solutions and they will start from currency reform.-Brian Sedze

Africa must harmonise visa laws

FOR many years, European passport holders have been given the freedom to move around a majority of their continent without the hassle of arranging a visa beforehand.

A similar luxury has been given to people from South American countries in regards to travel from country to country on their continent. So what about Africa?

Let’s say for example you held a passport of a country on the African continent and you had the desire to visit every other country on the continent. What would lie ahead of you would be an adventure, a very long trip and gigantic hurdles otherwise called visa restrictions.

Africa is home to 54 countries and according to the latest information from the Henley Passport Index, the average African passport can visit roughly 27 of these either without a visa or by obtaining a visa on arrival. The average European passport can enter 35 African countries without a prearranged visa and the United States passport a whopping 37.

With the exception of a few, most African countries require you to physically go to their embassy to apply for a visa and to make it even more difficult, many of these countries will only issue a visa when you are applying from your home country. Not only are these applications inconvenient because you have to make your way to the embassy, but they often involve huge costs and what seems like endless amounts of pointless paperwork.

The countries with the three biggest economies in Africa are Nigeria, South Africa and Egypt. As business is a very important part of travel, you would think travel requirements would be streamlined between these countries, but that is not the case. In fact, none of these three countries’ nationals are permitted to enter either of the other two countries without going through a visa application process at their embassy; an online option is not even available.

Morocco, South Africa and Egypt are the countries that have the highest number of tourists per annum. These tourists, however, are not coming from other African countries and as you may have guessed, like I stated above, the people from the top tourist destinations on the continent cannot be tourists in each other’s countries without a prearranged visa.

All of this brings me to an obvious question: Why is it so difficult to travel through Africa on an African passport?

On the up side, things are changing and in more recent years, countries have eased restrictions on visa requirements. Some countries have removed visa requirements for their African counterparts altogether. This is positive, but the time Africans will be able to travel the continent relatively freely is unknown.-DanVenture Travels