Sunday, 17 February 2019

"Have local currency when fundamentals are right!" - not right last 38 years O Guramatunhu

One of the many reasons Zimbabwe is in this economic mess is the sheer incompetence of those running the nation’s affairs. Our leaders have a knack for making a mountain out of a mole hill and thus end up focusing their time, energy and treasure on trivial matters, the mole hill, at the expense of the big issue, the mountain. 

“Do you think it is feasible to introduce a local currency in the next 12 months considering that the state of the economy remains poor?” asked The Standard senior reporter, Xolisani Ncube.

“Economic fundamentals need to be right before introducing our local currency. We also need social cohesion. People must be prepared to accept it for it to succeed. So we need those to be in place and we are working on ensuring that we deal with the fundamentals. We can then start to talk about the introduction of a local currency,” answered Dr John Mangudya, Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

One can say things here:

a)   Zimbabwe has a local currency already, it is called Bond Note and Bond coins. Bond Note is trading at 1:1 to the US$ officially but has traded at 3:1 to as much as 10:1. Banks have one account for $ RTGS, for the electronic transactions of Bond Notes, and another for $ Nostro, US$. Shops and the rest of commerce and industry all have a similar arrangement. It is therefore nonsense to talk of introducing a local currency as if the nation does not have one already, it is called Bond Note. 

b)   If the economic fundamentals were not right why did Zimbabwe introduce the Bond Note in 2016? And why is the nation still failing to get the “economic fundamentals” right for a stable local currency, it is now over a decade since the  scrapping of Z$ after inflation had soared to the dizzying heights of 500 billion per cent under Gideon Gono’s supercharge money printing crazy? 

c)   It is most disheartening that Zimbabwe’s Minister of Finance, Professor Mthuli Ncube, and the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Dr John Mangudya; the nation’s two most influential individuals on monetary matters: should be squabbling about when Zimbabwe should have its own local currency when we have one already. They should be focusing on getting the economic fundamentals so the Bond Note is stable. If the Bond Note trading freely at 3:1 or what ever, there is no cash and foreign currency shortages, etc., etc. the people will not care one bit whether the local currency is called Bond Note or Zimbabwe Dollar! 

Minister Ncube and Governor Mangudya are Lewis Carrol’s Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, fighting over a rattle whilst the nation is sinking deeper and deeper into this economic hell-on-earth.

d)   It is very naive of the Zanu PF regime to believe Zimbabwe can ever achieve the “economic fundamentals” necessary for economic recovery much less economic prosperity whilst the nation remains a pariah state ruled by corrupt and vote rigging thugs. 

The flood of foreign investors and lenders that Minister Ncube was confident he will attract has never happened. As much as the investors were impressed with Minister Ncube’s CV they were put off by Mnangagwa’s cavalier attitude to the rule of law and democracy. 

Mnangagwa promised “zero tolerance to corruption” and yet has yet to arrest one diamond looter. He also promised free, fair and credible elections only to blatantly rig the July 2018 elections. Mnangagwa wanted to eat his cake and eat it too; he wanted to keep the Zanu PF dictatorship and have economic prosperity too. 

All that “Zimbabwe is open for business!” masquerading, the appointment of Cambridge University Professor as Minister of Finance, appoint a 24 crack team as Presidential Advisory Council members, etc., etc. were all to give the impression Zimbabwe had changed when in reality nothing had changed. 

A conducive environment for economic recovery cannot exist in the midst of corruption and political turmoil. Impossible! 

Friday, 15 February 2019

Avalanche of blunders gives Mangudya guts to challenge "Tzar" Ncube N Garikai

Rumour has it that Minister of Finance, Professor Mthuli Ncube, and the Governor of Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Dr John Mangudya are failing to agree on key monetary policies including when Zimbabwe should bring back the dreaded Z$.

When came in as Minister of Finance, Professor Ncube boasted that he was going to attract investors, bringing economic stability, etc. None of these things have happened; instead the country's economy has blundered from one economic crisis to the next. When he first arrived the Minister was the Tzar no one dared to question but now after all these blunders; Governor Mangudya and others have the courage to disagree and say so loud and clear. The Tzar does not like it one bit! 

Indeed Minister Ncube is now so unhappy in his job some people believe he is planning to walkout! “Historic comment. Something is afoot. Is there any merit to the talk in high places that your plans to do a Nkosana Moyo have reached an advance stage?” commented Professor Jonathan Moyo, clearly relishing the prospect of the discomfort it will bring to Mnangagwa and Zanu PF.

Dr Nkosana Moyo a technocrat appointed into Mugabe's cabinet with as much fun-fare with the high hopes that he would inject new life into the cabinet and the economy. It was embarrassing when Moyo sneaked out of the country and then announced he had resigned out of frustration with the regime's incompetence!  

Professor Mthuli Ncube can f-off! He has already proven beyond all doubt that he is just a big-headed Professor Know-It-All with no common sense, he has blundered from pillar to post, promised mountains and yet delivered mole hills. Zimbabweans will have good cause to celebrate his departure.

Still, Professor Ncube must hunt down and quiz on whether he really believed the July 2018 Zimbabwe elections were free, fair and credible and Mnangagwa and his junta regime were legitimate. It is inconceivable he was not aware of the damning reports by the many election observer teams including Zimbabwe’s own Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission; proof Zanu PF rigged the elections.

So Professor Ncube would have accepted his appointment as Minister knowing fully well that Zanu PF was illegitimate. There can only be one logical reason why he did that - to further his own selfish and egotistic interest regardless of the suffering and deaths the Zanu PF dictatorship was causing to the nation. 

Indeed Professor Ncube has played his own role in bringing more grief to the nation. His 2% tax on electronic transactions had hit the poor hard. Government was getting a cut of the poor's US$30 or less per month, in a country whose poverty datum line is US$650 per month, dragging them even deeper below the breadline. One decent meal, life-saving medicine, etc. have become luxuries and hundreds of thousands have died in damn anguish. 

Whilst Professor Ncube had no second thoughts in taxing the poor to death, he left the filthy rich ruling elite untouched. He not only failed to stop the looting but failed to get the looters to pay any tax on their loot. If anything he using the cash squeezed from the poor to pay for the hired jets, overseas health jaunt, etc. for the ruling elite!

In 2016 Mugabe admitted the nation was being “swindled” out of $15 billion in diamond revenue alone. Mugabe was booted out of office in 2017 before he had arrested even one of the swindlers. Mnangagwa said his new dispensation had “zero tolerance on corruption”. He has been in office over a year now and has yet to arrest one diamond swindler! 

Mnangagwa has been busy rigging the July 2018 elections and seeing to it the state security forces punished all those who dared protest the rigged elections, the soaring cost of living, etc. It was Professor Mthuli Ncube, Minister Kirsty Coventry and many others’ job to sell a sanitised democratic Zimbabwe to the world. 

Mnangagwa, just like Mugabe before, has never had an problems recruiting mean spirited sell-outs like Ncube, Coventry, etc. He paid them well! Pretty good wages for one Judas Iscariot kiss! 

The growing number of blunders, the scandal of his own incompetence, the vote of no confidence from those around him, etc. is enough to warn Professor Ncube he should sneak out before the s***t hits the fan, so to speak.

Wherever you go, Professor Mthuli Ncube, you be be certain we will find you. You must explain to the people of Zimbabwe whether you really did not know that Zanu PF rigged the 2018 elections and was therefore illegitimate. Zimbabwe has had more than its fair share of individuals so mean spirited they would sell their own mother for a price and be proud they had a mother to sell. We must hold these sell-outs to account and make it clear this behaviour will not be tolerated.

Zanu PF "abiding with tenets of rule of law" - yet failed such basics as releasing voters' roll N Garikai

The Zanu PF thugs are certainly beginning to feel the growing pressure for meaningful political change; they are running around in panic and confusion!

“The EU said that it urges the Zimbabwean authorities to immediately and unconditionally release all political prisoners,” argued Brightface Matema, a Zanu PF apologist, in Bulawayo 24.

“Who said they are political prisoners? I am sure this bloc needs to be reminded that these prisoners were violent demonstrators who annihilated property of fellow citizens. In short they were in conflict with the law and deserved to be incarcerated.”

Matema, ever since last July’s rigged elections Mnangagwa and his illegitimate regime have been trying to impose themselves on a nation by using brute force to cow the nation into subservient submission. The regime has used the protest as cover to descend on the people like a tonne of bricks. This is a tried and tested Zanu PF modus operandi the party has used repeatedly in the last 38 years, notably during the Gukurahundi massacre in which Zanu PF sort to crash PF Zapu under the disguise of  hunting dissidents. There were only a few hundred dissidents and yet the regime murdered over 20 000 innocent civilians because Mugabe suspected them of being PF Zapu supporters.

The excessive force by the state security on the 1st August 2018, two days after the rigged 30 July 2018 elections was to send a clear message Zanu PF would not tolerate anyone protesting yet another rigged elections. 

The excessive force by the state security during the two weeks starting 14 January 2019 was to send a double message: 

a)      The regime will not tolerate anyone protesting the country’s worsening economic situation. The regime is determined to stay in power regardless of the evidence it has no clue how to revive the country’s comatose economy. 

We can be certain there will be more stay-aways and street protest as the economic situation gets worse and worse because human beings will never suffer and die quietly like sheep in a slaughter house regardless the crashing tonnes of bricks dropped at them. 

b)     Mnangagwa and his cronies are aware that all they attempts to conceal the evidence of their vote buying and vote rigging schemes have all come to naught. The whole world knows that Zanu PF rigged last July’s elections, especially the would-be investors and lenders whose cash injection is the kick-start the country needs to revive the comatose economy. 

As long as the country remains a pariah state ruled by corrupt and vote rigging thugs there is no hope of any meaningful economic recovery. Zanu PF thugs know that and, more significant. they know their political opponents and critics know it too. The violence crack down last month was aimed at the opposition leaders and the critics, many of whom were pick up from their homes in the dead of the night and, no doubt, many are now being falsely accuse of the rioting and looting. Of course, they are political prisoners.

Zanu PF has rigged elections and used brute force to maintain it iron grip on power in the face of growing opposition by the people complaining against the economic hardships and political oppression. The regime has denied the people the opportunity for peaceful and democratic change but only to foster the violent change now gripping the nation! 

“One wonders when the EU calls for the restoration of the rule of law in Zimbabwe while at the same time calling for the release of violent protestors is abiding with the tenets of rule of law. They purport to be champions of rule of law when they display double standards by calling for the unconditional release of those arrested while violating the same law,” continue Matema. 

Was Zanu PF “abiding with the tenets” of free, fair and credible elections when the regime failed to produce something as basic and fundamental as a verified voters’ roll? 

All this talk that Zimbabwe needs a political dialogue is all nonsense and a waste of time. What is there to talk about with Mnangagwa! Zanu PF rigged last July’s elections, the regime does not have the democratic mandate to rule, it is illegitimate and it must step down. Period! 

The continued use of the security service to beat and terrorise the nation must be condemned unreservedly. Mnangagwa is using State security to hold the nation hostage, that will not be tolerated!

Thursday, 14 February 2019

Minister Ncube's 2% tax caused 16% economic decline - "austerity for pain's sake" N Garikai

“Finance minister Professor Mthuli Ncube introduced the 2% per every dollar transaction tax in October last year as part of his “austerity for posterity” measures in a development which saw him receiving heavy criticism from all sections of Zimbabwe,” reported The Zimbabwean.
“Total payments in the economy declined by 16% in November 2018, as the effects of the 2% started hitting on spending, from the Reserve bank can show.
If Zimbabwe was a health and functioning democratic country in which those in power are accountable to the electorate then alarm bell will be ringing as loud as church bells in all government departments.

There is no doubt that the 2% tax has cause serious economic hardships especially amongst the country’s poorest, those living on US$30 per month in a country whose breadline is US$650 per month. Now it seems the 2% tax may well has backfired for Minister Ncibe and government too.

If financial transactions have declined by 16% is this possible that economic activity has also declined by 16%?  This has serious ramifications on the whole nation; a slowing down economy impact negatively on economic growth and recovery, reduced volume of sells will mean reduced profits, government’s earning from sales tax will fall because of reduced takings, etc.

So whatever addition money government has collected from the 2% levy on electronic transaction must now be carefully weighted again what government has lost in income tax, sales tax , poll charges, etc. as a result of the 16% slowing down of economic activities.

Government must monitor the economy very closely to make sure the economic activities pick up because a sustained 16% slow down in the economy will be a disaster for the nation.

The 2% tax was billed as “austerity for prosperity” but now it may will turn out to be “austerity for pain’s sake all round”. Not that it will be a surprise, ever since the late Bernard Chidzero first introduced his WB sponsored Economic Structural Adjustment Programme in 1990, the nation has been told to endure economic hardships for a better tomorrow.  For the last 38 years the Zimbabwe economic has followed a steady trajectory of decline, the Zanu PF “better tomorrow” has been always been mirage.

“The introduction of mobile money was a relief to the poor households. However, the introduction of this 2% tax will affect these people and the problems of inequality are thus made worse,” concluded The Zimbabwean

Even if the 2% tax was to prove to be an ill-advised and even down-right foolish move that caused untold misery and deaths – there are millions of people are so poor one decent meal a day, medicine and many other life’s essentials are now a luxury – to the people and no additional revenue for government; we can be certain this Zanu PF will never admit it made a blunder. Never! It is not in the DNA of corrupt and tyrannical regime to admit to making a mistake much less apologise.

Whilst Zimbabwe remain a pariah state ruled by corrupt and tyrannical thugs there is always the chance of the nation pursuing voodoo economic policies for years and even decades because policies are imposed on the nation with no serious scrutiny which only a health and functional democracy can provide. If we are serious about meaningful economic recovery then we must demand democratic change in Zimbabwe with the sense of purpose the matter demands.  

VIDEO: We want to control our own destiny

 Starts 14 February 2019 at 14:33 (GMT)

"We want to control our own destiny" argue ZUNDE - mess is our own making P Guramatunhu

“Zimbabwe should not look to outsiders to solve its problems. Lasting solutions can only come from Zimbabweans. International intervention is unnecessary and generally ineffective.  Regionally, SADC and the AU have both failed us before. Let us Zimbabweans take control of our own destiny for once and find our own solutions. We cannot keep going back to Lancaster House whenever we have a crisis,” wrote Justice Benjamin Paradza of ZUNDE.

I agree with you, Paradza, that SADC leaders have let the people of Zimbabwe down by their acceptance of this Mnangagwa regime as legitimate. 

Of all people, SADC leaders had shown real resolve and foresight in trying to get the 2013 Zimbabwe elections postpone until the democratic reforms, meant to stop Zanu PF rigging the elections, were implemented. “If you go into elections next month, you are going to lose; the elections are done!” they had warned Morgan Tsvangirai and his fellow MDC leaders. 

Not even one reform was implemented before the 2013 elections and, as SADC leaders had rightly predicted, Zanu PF rigged those elections. 

We also know that Mnangagwa refused to implement even one democratic reform in pursuance of his promise to hold free, fair and credible elections in 2018. So it was no surprise that Zanu PF went on to blatantly rig the July 2018 elections too. The real shock was that SADC leaders have tacitly (have not yet explicitly) endorsed the elections as having been free, fair and credible; a volte-face of their own “the elections are done” position!

SADC leaders have since taken it upon themselves to call for the lifting sanctions imposed by the West on a select few Zanu PF leaders. Everyone with half a working brain knows that Zimbabwe’s economic meltdown was not cause by sanctions but mismanagement and corruptions. The nation has failed to deal with these problems for 38 years and counting, in which the two have grown and spread to the killer cancers they are today. The nation is stuck with this corrupt and tyrannical Zanu PF regime that has rigged elections to stay in power all these years.

 It is all very well for you to say, “Let us Zimbabweans take control of our own destiny for once and find our own solutions.” The question you must answer is: Who has stopped us doing so all these last 38 years?

The simple answer to the rhetorical question above is that it is insatiable greed of our corrupt and incompetent political leaders on both sides of the political divide that has stopped us. Zanu PF leaders landed the nation into this mess but MDC leaders have played their part in keeping us stuck in the mess. 

For the last 38 years it has been hard to get Zanu PF and these MDC politicians to admit they have failed and to allow meaningful debate and competition so quality leaders can emerge and rescue the nation. The task is even harder now because the country’s dire economic situation, for one thing, has made these politicians even more desperate than ever to hang on to power at all cost! 

Zimbabwe needs to implement the democratic reforms to dismantle the stifling Zanu PF autocracy. We know from the 2008 GNU we cannot trust MDC Alliance much less Zanu PF leaders to implement these reforms. And on our own, the ordinary Zimbabweans, will never force Zanu PF and MDC leaders to give up political power even for a day to allow the reforms to be implemented.  

We will need all the help we can get to pressure this Zanu PF regime to accept it has no democratic mandate govern and therefore must step down. The Americans, EU, Commonwealth and many, many other key nations and organisations have already condemn last July’s Zimbabwe elections as a farce; we must build on this and push ask for concrete and decisive follow-up action. 

The British are proposing to extend the target sanctions on Zanu PF leaders. We should calling for those working with the illegitimate regime and the opposition sell-outs who continue to participate in the flawed elections to be included in the sanction list.

“ZUNDE calls on Nelson Chamisa to show his good faith as well as political maturity by ceasing his protests against the legitimacy of the President and accepting that he has to enter into meaningful discussions with Mnangagwa and his government,” continued Paradza.

“ZUNDE wishes to see the creation of a free, democratic, peaceful and prosperous Zimbabwe characterised by good governance and the rule of law. We strive for ideals and accept realities. We work for an outcome that is better than it would have been if we did not get involved. Politics is the art of the possible.”

So you believe rewarding the vote rigging Zanu PF regime with absolute power is “striving for ideals and accepting reality”? Even after 38 years of appeasing Zanu PF with the tragic consequences we see all round, it is shocking that there are still naive and stupid people who still believe appeasement will work! 

Zimbabwe is in this hell-on-earth because the country has had the great misfortune of having corrupt and incompetent politicians and having more than her fair share of naive and gullible voters has only made a bad situation even worse! With “thinkers” like Justice Paradza it is hard to see how the nation is ever going to escape out of this hell-hole! 

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Ncube to ask for lifting of sanction - were elections free, slap sanctions on him too

“Finance minister Mthuli Ncube is expected to travel to Washington next month and engage with US lawmakers to lift the sanctions imposed since 2001. But his trip is likely to be overshadowed by the concerns that the US has raised over the human rights situation in the country,” reported Zimeye.
“Ncube estimated that Zimbabwe has lost 80 lines of credit as a result of the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Amendment Act and the US-imposed sanctions.”
The Americans should ask Minister Ncube whether he believes last July’s elections were free, fair and credible. Ever since he joined Zanu PF in September last year Ncube has wanted to cast himself as an academic appointed to do a job and will do it. He is not a politician and therefore does not want to concern himself with political matters. This is a very foolish and myopic position because it is undeniable that Zimbabwe is in a serious economic mess because of decades of gross mismanagement and rampant corruption which the economists and the people at large have failed to stop because the politicians would not allow change.
Zimbabwe is a pariah state ruled by corrupt and vote rigging thugs and investors have shied away from the country because they know it is impossible to run a successful business operation in such a country. Minister Ncube said he would attract investors but has so far failed to do so. So the political environment is important for economic recovery.
The Americans has made their position very clear, they believe Mnangagwa rigged last year’s elections, it is na├»ve for Minister Ncube to pretend otherwise. Frankly Minister Ncube is just wasting taxpayer’s money with all this globe-trotting when he cannot even admit the obvious – Zimbabwe is a pariah state!
Come to think of it; the Americans should just add Professor Ncube on the sanctions list. Why not he is doing more to prop up the Zanu PF dictatorship than Mnangagwa and ten other Zanu PF big wigs on the sanctions list combine!
Whilst still on the sanctions list, the West must slap other Zimbabweans like Minister Kirsty Coventry, the 24 individuals on Mnangagwa’s President Advisory Council, etc. They too know Zanu PF rigged last year’s elections and yet continue to work with the illegitimate regime as if it did nothing wrong.
Members of Zimbabwe’s opposition parties must also be included on the sanctions list. By participating in the flawed and illegal election process they are giving the process some modicum of credibility.
All pressure must be brought to bear on the Zanu PF regime if it is going to be forced to step down to allow meaningful reforms to be implemented. The prospect of Zanu PF remaining in power till 2023 is unthinkable because there will be nothing to stop the regime rigging those elections too!
Plan A: Pile the pressure on Zanu PF, by maintaining the sanctions and economic isolation on party leaders and those propping the regime, to step down long before 2023 elections so we can appoint an interim administration to implement the reforms and guarantee free, fair and credible elections.
Plan B: To compliment plan A and if it should fail; add opposition members to the sanction list to stop them participating in flawed and illegal elections for the sake of the few gravy train seats Zanu PF gives away as bait.