HARARE – The announcement by Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor John Mangudya that the central bank was in the near future going to introduce bond notes came as a shocker to all Zimbabweans.
The country’s citizens have had a traumatic experience with the country’s currency and Mangudya’s Wednesday promulgation brings back sad and eerie memories.
In 2008, the Zimbabwe dollar was decimated by ravaging inflation, at the hands of President Robert Mugabe’s misgovernance, and people lost their savings upon the introduction of the United States (US) dollar among others in the basket of foreign currencies adopted in 2009.
Mangudya said the existing bond coins and the new notes — $2, $5, $10 and $20 denominations — shall continue to operate alongside the currencies within the multi-currency system and at par with the US$.
He said the move will ease the prevailing cash crisis. Surely, this is a stop-gap measure the central bank chief had to take in a desperate bid to arrest the crippling cash crisis that has hit Zimbabwe.
For nearly a month, Zimbabweans have been struggling to access their hard-earned cash from the banks.
As the monetary authority, Mangudya had to intervene. But he can only do so much. Last year, he had to step in to solve a change crisis that was severely hampering transacting.
At first, Zimbabweans were justifiably sceptical — considering the 2008 financial horror, but it worked.
They eventually embraced the bond coins.
This is not to say that the solution is introducing these bond currencies. Certainly not.
These are make-do measures. The real pragmatic solution lays in Mugabe and crew changing their approach or admitting their failure, and leave.
They are the stumbling block to Zimbabwe’s recovery and cause of its headaches.
This cash crisis is only a hint of the bigger economic problems created by the 92-year-old leader and his cronies.
Currently, the country is rudderless, with Mugabe and his Zanu PF absorbed in factional fights.
In 2013, Mugabe promised Zimbabweans so much under his ZimAsset economic blueprint — create 2,2 million jobs, unlock billions of dollars in minerals value and build 310 public schools and 300 clinics.
But three years later, none of this has happened.
The problem in this country is Mugabe’s politics is out of sync with business and economic reality.
His politicking has led to the demise of Zimbabwe’s economy and untold suffering of the people.
Mr President, the cash crisis is nothing but a hint of your failure. Do something.
Zimbabweans deserve better.