Well, this last few days has been revealing, as the state have added more measures to try to wheel in the economy, but if it will stick boils down to one important factor. That important factor is if the public, the citizens and the stakeholders trust the government and their policies.
This is the key with relaunch of the ghost currency, the decade long missing Zimbabwe Dollar, the joining currency floated after Bond-Notes and RTGS Dollars. Which is supposed to save the economy and bring a new normal. In an economy where there are spiralling prices, lack of imports and also lack of trust in general; this is not directly strengthening that, but surely is a test.
If the Second Republic and the second regime under Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) is to stick around, they need to fix this. They cannot have another crash, have another big blow and weakening economy. There is already plenty of issues as is, last years taxes on mobile money and transactions took out lots of funds from the economy in direct taxations; these funds have been taken by the state and never returned to the market.
With this in mind, the state is in dire need of change, to build up self-esteem and hope for a better future. However, is the launch of the Zim Dollar, the right thing to do?
Is it about right to monopolize all buying of maize to the Grain Marketing Board, where the public is not allowed to sell or transport even a set amount of maize without licence or without authorities authorizing the transport of the maize?
Will these things make the economy stronger or will they have a negative effect like the RTGS taxes of last year?
I am thinking so, because there is very little evident of good hopes on the horizon, of possible unique changes or patterns, which the state will benefit in huge quotas from this. By all means the ZANU-PF will say it is making progress, that its all good, but not long ago there was fuel shortage and other things lacking because of lack of foreign exchange. The Reserve Bank and the other authorities better be prepared and have good advice for these changes. If they want to revive the currency, they better have a gold standard, a reach and not print money like there is no tomorrow. Since, it doesn’t take much to devalue a currency and also get hyper-inflation. Especially, when the society, the financial institutions and the whole market are sceptical about the whole deal.
The Zim Dollar and the GMB might be good ideas, might be brought to the market by good means, but will only bring more pain or suffering. As the farmers, the traders and the citizens will bear the costs, as the state is figuring out new ways to control and secure funding without adding investment or collateral for these investments. Certainly we can hope for otherwise, that the Finance Minister and everyone else involve has a well functioning plan.
However, do we really think so? Do the ZANU-PF deserve this trust and the good faith? Do they? Alternatively, are they just another military junta finding new ways of scheming for funds? Because, that wouldn’t shock anyone of us. If they are making new commissions or inquiry boards to settle old sins and hire cronies. That is what they do and not really making progress.
We can lie to ourselves and say it will all get better with these measures, but are we really certain? Do they really do all good? Does the ban of foreign currency really help? When the state functions are still taking US Dollars for functions and expecting foreigners to pay in US dollars. Do the RBZ and the Ministry really configure this or are they winging it?
There was one fella, who called the Zimbabwean economy an albatross; I think he was right, I really think he was right. By all accounts, there is little luck and little positive to find. We can joke around, mock and make a fuzz. However, the dire consequences are that teachers cannot food; the civil servants cannot pay for mortgages and so on. It is a dire need for change and for trust in the economy. Nevertheless, as long as the ZANU-PF is playing along, there will be questions. Many, unanswered, which is bringing no good. Even when the measure might have been made with grandest intent. Peace.