Surprised ED imposing RTGS when NOT managing monetary affairs properly.” Trying to make silk purse from sow’s ear
17 October 2023
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By Wilbert Mukori| Last week I wrote 2000 words on why it was not in our national interest to continue with the use of foreign currencies for domestic settlement,” wrote Eddie Cross in his latest rendition of Zimbabwe’s economic situation. 

“I thought the case was strong but I was surprised when our President took up the issue at a major meeting and stated quite clearly that we were going back to use of our own currency. I pointed out that when we managed our monetary affairs properly, the US dollar was always worth less than our own currency. I further pointed out that all the countries in our region had done this successfully.

“What the President said was that no country had been able to develop its own economy without using its own currency. I happen to agree. The question is how to affect the transition from what we have now and what has to prevail once the deed is done? That is neither easy nor uncomplicated.

“So here goes. First we have to have an alternative. The Reserve Bank has issued “gold backed tokens” for use as a currency that will retain its value. This is just another form  of Bitcoin – a currency without any real support. You buy it on faith and believe me that is no reason to buy anything. We do not have any significant gold reserves, or reserves of anything to back what the Bank is trying to do. My grandson pointed out that the first sale of these tokens was taken up entirely in local RTGS dollars – another currency that has no backing or real value.”

The real surprise here is that Eddie Cross was surprised President Mnangagwa took off at a tangent – demanding the use of local currency when the country is clearly NOT managing its monetary affairs properly! 

I have often found Eddie Cross pedantic to the point of utter uselessness. It is no secret that we have NOT been managing our monetary affairs properly for decades and hence the reason we are in this mess.

Indeed, it is naive, to say the least, to expect Zimbabwe to manage her monetary affairs when our political affairs are in a mess! 

“Seek you first the political kingdom and the rest will follow,” advised Dr Kwame Nkrumah, the first President of independent Ghana. Zimbabwe has been stuck in this hell-hole for decades because naive people like Mr Cross have been trying to achieve the impossible – retain the Zanu PF dictatorship and still deliver the economic recovery and even economic prosperity. 

The man, Eddie Cross has been advising on monetary matters, President Mnangagwa, was in Victoria Fall last week telling a tale!

“I’m frightened that I’m meeting CEOs, people who have succeeded in life and are at the top,” he told his audience at the CEO Conference.

“But, of course, without election, which is good because elections you rig. I doubt whether there’s any rigging with the CEOs, it’s on merit.” 

Talk of sick joke, this was a sick. Zimbabwe is a failed state precisely because we have failed to hold free, fair and credible elections and the man responsible for rigging the elections thinks that is a joke!

Of course, Zimbabwe is a failed state! We have been stuck these last 43 years with a corrupt, incompetent and utterly useless Zanu PF regime. 43 years of voodoo-economics, corruption and murderous tyrannical rule have left the country in economic ruins and a pariah state in which it is near impossible to do business! But not so for Mr Cross, he is hell bent on proving Dr Nkrumah was wrong.

Mr Cross was one of the senior MDC leaders and the late Dr Morgan Tsvangirai’s advisers throughout the 2008 to 2013 GNU. The party failed to implement even one democratic reform to dismantle the Zanu PF dictatorship presumably because people like Eddie Cross believed Zimbabwe would still prosper without dismantling the dictatorship. 

Ever since Mnangagwa took over from Mugabe following the 2017 military coup Eddie Cross led from the front the “Give ED a chance!” brigadeHe has predicted one economic boom after another under this Second Republic or be it on the ground the economy has sunk deeper and deeper into the abyss.

Has the penny finally dropped that Zimbabwe will never ever enjoy any meaningful economic recovery, much less economic boom, as long as the country remains a pariah state that can not hold free, fair and credible elections. To have sound economic policies we must have good governance and we cannot have that whilst we remain stuck with a corrupt and tyrannical regime that is rigging elections to stay in power!  

Until we cure ourselves of the curse of rigged elections and bad governance there will be no meaningful economic recovery in Zimbabwe. And no amount of statutory instruments to force people to use the inflation prone local currency will make Z$ strong and stable!