This week in Zambia, you have arrest of opposition leader and also claim that another ppposition leader is in-charge of the rising prices, the inflation and the overall added expenses on the staple food: Maize.
However, we all know that is rubbish. Because, UPND Hichilema isn’t in-charge of any ministry or government portfolio. It is the Patriotic Front (PF) and President Edgar Lungu whose in charge of the mess created. It is his people whose not on guard and fixing the issues within the Republic. That is why the issues are there, because there is a need for basis and control from the state.
In addition, that the PF is attacking others and claiming their faults for their mismanagement. It is easier to point the finger at HH and UPND. Instead of acting reasonable and finding out why there is a growing inflation on staple-food and the need for price cap on Maize.
“On Sunday, the 25th of August 2019, the Agriculture Minister of Zambia, one of the most highly urbanized countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, Michael Katambo said following a meet with millers, chain stores, stockfeed manufacturers and grain traders that they all had agreed to put a cap on maize price in order to keep the nation’s staple food affordable. On top of that, the Agricultural Ministry had also added in a statement that a ton of maize could be sold at a maximum price of $198.93 or 2,600 Kwacha ($1= 13.07 Kwacha)” (Sourav D. – ‘Zambia introduces price cap on maize (corn) amid farmers’ protest’ 27.08.2019, Financial-World.Org).
“Zambia’s headline inflation accelerates for sixth consecutive month in August, jumping to new multi-year high as food price pressures weigh. Despite the reintroduction of maize price caps, surging food prices may steer inflation to breach double-digit territory by end-Q3” (NKC African Economics, 30.08.2019).
“Lusaka Province secretary Kennedy Kamba told journalists yesterday the two directors recently invited United Party for National Development (UPND) president Hakainde Hichilema to coerce him into petitioning the Commission over alleged corruption in the government. Mr Kamba said those were some of the clandestine tactics the opposition and some public servants were using to discredit President Edgar Lungu and his government because they had nothing else to talk about as the government had delivered in all sectors. At the same briefing, Lusaka Province PF chairman Paul Moonga warned millers against conniving with the opposition to create artificial mealie meal prices and commodity shortages” (Charles Musonda – ‘ACC BOSSES EXPOSED’ 30.08.2019, Daily Nation)
The PF should consider their actions, because it is their lack of actions in time. That is the reason for the inflation on the staple food. If not their inside dealings, which has told stories to HH. It is not that he gets the truth from directors of millers.
Therefore, the state and the PF needs to look into itself and its shortcomings. If they want it for the better. PF needs to act upon that, not that HH or anyone else is questioning their actions. Since, his just doing his duty as an opposition. HH is not governing, that is what the PF does, if not they are not doing it well enough. That is why HH and the opposition is the scapegoats for the lack of due diligence from the government itself.
Seriously, something is up. I don’t know what it is or the reason for it. But there is something not sorted out. Because, an inflation and a price-cap on maize doesn’t come over night. Peace.
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.