Sunday, 6 November 2016

Zvorwadza you are blunting why we must reject bond note by claiming they are illegal!

Let me say upfront that I admire people like Sten Zvorwadza and all the other of the social media heroes and heroines for their courage and passion in leading street protests from the front. However, I am not entirely convinced that some of these street protests, well intended as they clearly are, are helping us get out hell-hole we find ourselves in but are instead just a rat-race taking us round and round in circles.

Take the issue of bond notes, Sten Zvorwadza has vowed to stage street protests, starting on 18 November 2016, to force this Zanu PF regime to abandon its drive to introduce bond notes in Zimbabwe. An admirable stance but first, we should be absolutely what the protesters are demanding.

Zimbabwe finally scrapped its Z$ in November 2008, in favour of a basket of foreign currency, when it was near impossible to carry out any meaningful transaction using the Z$ because currency was losing its value by the minute. Inflation peaked at 500 billion per cent, a world record; fueled by the country’s economic collapse and the regime’s foolish notion that it can solve all the nation’s economic problems by printing more Z$.

The years of hyperinflation, 2000 to 2008, have crippled the national economy and wiped out many people’s investments. Since the scrapping of the Z$ inflation has dropped to single digit percentage points but scrapping of the Z$ alone was not enough to trigger meaningful economic recovery.

It was Zimbabwe’s failure to revive the economy since November 2008 that is behind the cash shortage and forcing the regime to go back to using local currency. Because local industry had all but collapse by 2008, the country has had to import almost everything. Since we import a lot more than we export our balance of payment has been negative and has continued balloon with time. With a net flow of foreign currency out of the country it was just a matter of time before the country started to run out of cash. We have done just that!

This Zanu PF regime now wants to reintroduce the Z$ (calling it a bond note, does not change the essential element that it is the local currency back) ostensibly to allow local transaction to be paid in the local currency and free the foreign currency to be used in foreign transactions. But since the regime has done nothing to address the underlying causes of our economic collapse we will still need to import and thus the foreign currency hemorrhage will continue.

With unemployment rate sitting at a nauseating 90% plus, it was 80% plus in 2008 and has steady crept up; most people have eked a living by importing building materials, clothes, food - we even import milk – (a sorry state for the nation that used to be the breadbasket of the region) and selling them. We have become a nation of importers and vendors!

Since the regime has done absolutely nothing to revive the country’s economy and thus reduce its dependence of imports the people have three good reasons to fear the reintroduction of the Z$:

a)     With unemployment a nauseating 90% and millions now living in abject poverty, vendors sell to those in formal employment and not fellow vendors, the need to revive the economy is now a matter of life and death. By reintroducing the Z$ will free the foreign currency for foreign trade but doing nothing to reduce the need for imports. So reintroducing the Z$ is doing nothing to revive the economy whilst kicking the crunch of the shortage of foreign currency to pay for imports further down the Street.

b)     The regime will force the ordinary people to accept the bond note at the official exchange rate and force those lucky enough to get foreign currency to sell them through designated channels at the official exchange rate. If the ordinary people need foreign currency, they will be forced to buy on the black-market at exorbitant exchange rates. Meanwhile the ruling elite will be allowed to buy foreign currency at the low official rates and sell on the black-market at the exorbitant rates. The reintroduction of the Z$ will therefore be big money maker for the ruling elite milking povo!

c)     The shortage in foreign currency will bring back the days of empty shop shelves and hit the vendors will pay for the imported goods in foreign currency but force to accept worthless Z$ from their customers because that is all they have.

Last week President Mugabe issued a decree clearing the way for the issuance of bond notes as legal tender using Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act (Chap 10:20).

Alex Magaisa, Tsvangirai’s legal adviser during the GNU, has said decree was illegal because President Mugabe is forbidden from amending a primary law in terms of section 134 of the country’s new constitution.

“Parliament may, in an Act of Parliament, delegate power to make statutory instruments within the scope of and for the purposes laid out in that Act,” states section 134. And goes on to explain that the statutory instrument “must not be consistent with the Act of Parliament under which they are made”. Magaisa’s argument being that the decree not consistent with the existing law.

What Magaisa has failed to appreciate here is that Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act is not a statutory instrument nor was it ever meant to be and reading it, confirms this.

Mai Mujuru has gone to the Constitutional Court with her challenge of the legality of Mugabe’s decree. "As Head of State, he ought to allow Parliament to do its work," she says.

Yes, having to resort to using presidential powers to introduce the bond notes is clumsy but that is not to say it is illegal.

Of course Zimbabwe has every right to issue and use its own currency as legal tender within its national borders. We should be careful that our mistrust of this Zanu PF regime does not go overboard because the regime will ridicule everything else we say and do.

People like Sten Zvorwadza must be careful they do not bland their legitimate and very reasonable demands by listening to confused people like Alex Magaisa and Joice Mujuru who are so desperate for attention and political relevance they will make stupid and baseless claims! Passion and courage are very important and useful virtues but unless they are guarded at all times by reason they are useless and even a curse!


  1. Saying the bond notes are illegal has put a new twist to the matter, one some people have found irresistible. Demanding that the bond notes must not be used as an instrument for robbing blind the ordinary people of Zimbabwe whilst opening up another yet another avenue for the fat cats pile on the pounds on the backs of the poor is one thing. But if the bond notes are illegal too then there is an additional edge to it.

    Sten Zvorwadza has invited businessman, Strive Masiyiwa, to join him and other street protestors to "stop" the issuing of bond notes. Strive has thanked Zvorwadza for the invitation but turned down the offer. He is a shrewd businessman who would not want a lot of egg of his face for standing on a shaky platform; before one says the bond notes are illegal one has to be absolutely sure of it.

  2. Zanu PF had two factions worth the name, the Mnangagwa faction and the Mujuru faction - we know who lost that factional war. G40 was a faction manufactured by Mugabe from nothing by bringing together whatever rubbish he could bring together. Pushing his wife to lead G40 made the situation worse not better. G40 is history and all those who think it could ever recover and be a challenge are not serious!

  3. “In 2013 Zimbabweans in their millions queued up to vote the new constitution and as long as it has not been implemented in full we cannot then just ignore that and go to elections,” you said.

    Zanu PF has just implemented a lot of electoral reforms in line with the new constitution.

    Please give us details of what else you want implemented or else shut up!

    We need comprehensive reforms to be implemented that is why you will not give any details because you know what you keep talking about will not be enough. Why would we need NTA to amend existing laws to bring them into line with the new constitution if that is all we need to do now?

    We need the NTA because we need a lot more done to dismantle this Zanu PF dictatorship; and people like you are not being helpful is selling the NTA because you still continue to lie about what reforms are required!

  4. “Let us overwhelm their rigging machinery by registering and turning out to vote in large numbers. We cautiously applaud the people of Norton and Temba Mliswa for doing just that — now we must follow their example.” Really!

    Whilst registering and voting would have worked ten years ago it will not work now because the Zanu PF vote rigging machinery has moved on. Nearly one million voters registered to vote and turned up to do so in the 2013 elections but were denied the vote. NIKUV tampered with the voters roll and deliberately posted their details in the wrong constituency roll.

    In case you have not heard Judge, Zanu PF refused to release the 2013 voters roll a month before the elections as is required by law. Has refused to release it to this day. Am sure you can work out why for yourself!

  5. PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe's government has reportedly availed $3 million to the War Veterans' ministry to wrestle control of the Christopher Mutsvangwa-led Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans' Association (ZNLWVA), NewsDay reported.

    Mutsvangwa is waking up to the political reality of how Mugabe has used looted wealth to buy support now because this time he is the victim of the corruption. Personally Mutsvangwa should have a taste of his own medicine!

  6. PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe's government has reportedly availed $3 million to the War Veterans' ministry to wrestle control of the Christopher Mutsvangwa-led Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans' Association (ZNLWVA), NewsDay reported.

    Mutsvangwa is waking up to the political reality of how Mugabe has used looted wealth to buy support now because this time he is the victim of the corruption. Personally Mutsvangwa should have a taste of his own medicine!

  7. Sten Zvorwadza and all the social media activists have been very brave to take the fight for human rights and povo's economic hardship to the door of this government. If Zvorwadza is right that the issue of bond notes is illegal then, of course, he is right to put the issue top of the agenda. However if there is nothing illegal about the issuing of the bond notes then the regime will use this issue as the escape clause. So Zvorwadza has just given the regime something with which to beat him and the nation with on this issue.

    I wish people like Zvorwadza would focus on the burning issues on hand and not take unnecessary chances by take up issues they are not sure of. In this case, there are enough burning issues in the basket on bond notes without adding this issue of whether or not they are legal.

  8. Grace Mugabe bust on the political scene with a very loud bang and for the last two years she has tried to keep up the high tempo. She has kept up the pretence punching and insulting everyone with complete immunity - she has President Mugabe's licence and that is better than James Bond's licence to kill.

    Sadly for Grace instead of delivering a knock out her opponents she has knocked herself out. Everyone can see she was desperate to win power at all cost and that was all she wanted. For a country that is down on its knees in the gutter and have been for the last 36 years; the last thing the nation wanted to hear was someone hot to be president but does not even notice the misery all round.

    Frankly many people are pleased Grace's pitch for president is over. She arrived on the stage with a bang but went out with a whimper!

  9. What makes you think that Zanu PF chefs are not involved in the forged bond notes racket? The very fact that the Police and CIO have stayed well clear of the matter is proof they are following instructions.

    Mugabe told the nation that $15 billion of diamond revenue was looted in February and today, ten months later, no one has been arrested. Think!

    We have a thousand and one perfectly good reasons why we must reject the introduction of bond notes the main one being that we cannot trust this regime to have the financial discipline not to print more and more bond notes and thus fuelling the hyperinflation of 2008. The least the regime should have done is enact laws to ensure transparency and tight monetary controls of the new currency before the release of bond notes.

    To reject the bond notes on the basis that they are illegal is spurious, to say the least, because it presupposes that we have no legal right to issue our own local currency and call it what we please!

    So to abandon solid ground of rejecting bond notes on the basis that nothing has been done to prevent yesteryear’s Z$ hyperinflation, etc. in favour of rejecting them on shaky grounds that they are illegal is dumb!

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  11. We have someone in State House with "several degrees in violence", his words not mine. His name is Robert Gabriel Mugabe, he is the one who has created and sustained this culture of violence for his own selfish political gain.

    The years of corrupt and tyrannical rule under this Zanu PF dictatorship has destroyed the nation's economy leaving millions of our people destitute. A hungry man is an angry man!

    The only way to end the economic meltdown gripping the nation is by ending the Zanu PF dictatorship. And to end the dictatorship, we must implemented the democratic reforms designed to dismantle it and replace it with a democratic system of government.

    For the record, it was Tendai Biti, Morgan Tsvangirai and the rest of the MDC leaders who should have implemented the reforms during the GNU; they had five years to do so. They failed to get even one reform implemented in five years.

    Unless we implement the reforms before the next elections it is almost certain the elections will be rigged and Zanu PF may even resort to the wanton violence of 2008. The NTA is one possible vehicle with which to implement the reforms.

  12. The health service has all but collapse in Zimbabwe and this is totally unacceptable. I am disappointed that people like Linda should single out Matebeleland as if being worse than other regions. Does she have any data to back this claim? 

    We have a serious challenge of rebuilding Zimbabwe from the ruins Mugabe has left, we must not make that task even harder for ourselves by bringing in unnecessary and unfounded divisions be they regional, tribal, gender, etc.

    Nothing would please a tyrant like Mugabe than to see Zimbabwe descend into even worse chaos after he is gone. He has ruled this nation with an iron fist under the pretext that the country will descend into worse chaos otherwise. We should never give him the satisfaction that he was right!

  13. The G40 faction is now died and Mnangagwa is burying the leading members one by one. Mugabe has propped the G40 faction but, now that the faction is in trouble, he has abandon the likes of Professor Jonathan Moyo and Kasukuwere to the wolves.

    The only thing stopping Mnangagwa taking over Zanu PF now is that he is not the cleverest kid on the block, Mugabe has toyed with him just as he has toyed with everyone else. The G40 faction was never a serious threat to Mnangagwa compared to the Mujuru faction but it still took him two years to neutralise it - proof Mnangagwa is not clever.

    Even with the G40 faction dead and Mugabe completely isolated, Mnangagwa is dithering and sweating not knowing what to do next. He is still afraid of Mugabe and what he might do!

  14. ZLRH is suing government over the issue of Bond notes, claiming they will cause serious inflation.

    The introduction of bond note definitely result in hyperinflation of the Z$ years because this government was done nothing to stop that happening. I support this law suit 100%. Those claiming the bond notes are illegal are whistling in the graveyard and we need to be serious here because the economic well being of the whole nation is at issue here.

  15. Good points. We need to hear more different strategies and debate them with the hope that what will emerge will be better that we have.

    I am not happy that there is a consensus on what is it exactly we are demonstrating against on bond notes; that they are illegal, they will result in hyperinflation, etc.? If we cannot agree on what we want it is little surprise the regime is taking advantage of the confusion to do as it please!