Ride the storm, Dr Man­gudya

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Per­spec­tive Stephen Mpofu

A COUN­TRY’S cen­tral bank gover­nor re­signs his job in a huff after peo­ple, par­tic­u­larly those in busi­ness, thumb their noses on bold new mea­sures to prop up the econ­omy and bring it back to an even keel.

And you (yes, you) ul­u­late, even go on drink­ing binges to cel­e­brate the fall of the coun­try’s mon­e­tory stew­ard.

If you are in the cat­e­gory of such peo­ple, here is your la­bel: you have one foot of your loy­alty an­chored on the soil of Zim­babwe’s en­e­mies, and the other dan­gling barely above the ground in this coun­try.

But you can­not hon­estly and earnestly ex­pect to have and en­joy with­out let or hin­drance the best of both worlds.

Something must break, and break loudly and with fi­nal­ity. This is be­cause this coun­try can­not be ex­pected to har­bor and even give le­gal pro­tec­tion to sell-outs, peo­ple who run with the hares – loyal and pa­tri­otic Zim­bab­weans – and hunt with the hounds, the en­e­mies of this coun­try.

Thus, peo­ple who feign loy­alty to this coun­try should with­out any fur­ther ado choose a D-Day — or De­ci­sion Day to come out in their true colours so that the peo­ple of this coun­try know who their true al­lies are and who the chameleons hi­ber­nat­ing in their midst are.

Such mo­ments of truth about who be­longs in Zim­babwe, or are mere passers-by nib­bling at the coun­try’s eco­nomic op­por­tu­ni­ties, while the warmth of the Zim­bab­wean sun per­me­ates hearts laden with venom against the sons and daugh­ters of the soil, are crit­i­cal on the eve of the in­tro­duc­tion by the Re­serve Bank of Zim­babwe next month of bond notes, backed by a $200 mil­lion African Ex­port Im­port Bank nos­tro sta­bil­i­sa­tion and ex­port fi­nance fa­cil­ity as part of the cen­tral bank’s ex­port bonus scheme aimed at stim­u­lat­ing pro­duc­tion while main­tain­ing and sus­tain­ing the multi-cur­rency sys­tem.

Sup­ply of the United States dol­lar, which ap­par­ently dom­i­nated pref­er­ences for multi-cur­ren­cies by lo­cal busi­nesses and or­di­nary peo­ple, has se­ri­ously dwin­dled, si­phoned, ac­cord­ing to pop­u­lar be­lief, out of the coun­try by for­eign­ers and lo­cal traders alike.

In Bu­l­awayo, a fuel ser­vice sta­tion is re­port­edly re­fus­ing to ac­cept bond coins, in­tro­duced by the Re­serve Bank to avert a short­age of change in smaller de­nom­i­na­tions in busi­ness across the board.

Greater re­sis­tance to the bond note has been mooted, and Re­serve Bank Gover­nor Dr John Man­gudya was re­ported this week as say­ing he would step down should the bond notes strate­gi­cally fail.

For a start, the gover­nor‘s threat to quit his job will, should it take ef­fect, amount to a big let down for a coun­try valiantly strug­gling to re­assert con­trol of its econ­omy as any in­de­pen­dent and sov­er­eign state ought to do in face of ex­ter­nal pres­sure to turn the coun­try into a client state of im­pe­ri­al­ists eye­ing our rich nat­u­ral re­sources for ex­ploita­tion by them, as what hap­pened at the height of colo­nial­ism.

Se­condly, and even more trag­i­cally, if Dr Man­gudya does in fact go he will be val­i­dat­ing, and to the glee of our en­e­mies, the say­ing: “if you can’t beat them, join them.”

This pen is cer­tainly not about to be­lieve that the cen­tral bank gover­nor wants to be­come an ally of those who wish this coun­try ill — peo­ple who want the coun­try’s econ­omy to col­lapse yes­ter­day as a way of ef­fect­ing regime change in re­tal­i­a­tion for the Zanu-PF gov­ern­ment’s land re­form pro­gramme un­der which thou­sands of Zim­bab­weans have so far re­cov­ered huge chunks of land stolen from them by white set­tler farm­ers in colo­nial Rhode­sia.

In fact, some of those who re­sist the in­tro­duc­tion of bond notes prob­a­bly un­know­ingly hunt this coun­try’s sovereignty with the hounds, the United States of America and its ilk who have a heinous plan to col­lapse the Zim­bab­wean econ­omy overnight by ban­ning ac­cess by this coun­try to the US dol­lar that they know to be quite pop­u­lar with busi­ness and or­di­nary ci­ti­zens of this coun­try.

Or those in the anti-bond notes lobby are paid agents of Zim­babwe’s en­e­mies and have al­ready been in­volved in at­tempts to ren­der Zim­babwe un­govern­able through vi­o­lent demon­stra­tions and other protests to try to shut down the coun­try.

The US through its bank in 2015 stopped sup­ply­ing its cur­rency to An­gola and South Africa, al­leg­ing that what it called lax reg­u­la­tions pro­moted money laun­der­ing in those coun­tries.

How­ever, An­gola used its cur­rency, the Kwanza, to over­come the ini­tial shock caused by the with­drawal of the green­back.

Now if An­gola with eco­nomic and so­cial con­di­tions sim­i­lar to those in Zim­babwe after Por­tuguese colo­nial rule there did it, surely Zim­babwe can also tri­umph over any for­eign en­gi­neered ad­ver­si­ties if the peo­ple here have the good­will and pur­pose­ful unity as their guid­ing prin­ci­ples in mak­ing in­de­pen­dence and free­dom a re­al­ity for all times and for all future gen­er­a­tions.

There­fore, what­ever the case might be con­cern­ing the in­tro­duc­tion of bond notes, this pen humbly yet fer­vently urges Dr Man­gudya to ride the storm and not hand the en­emy un­de­served vic­tory on a plat­ter.

And, who knows, a re­place­ment for Dr Man­gudya — who might ac­tu­ally turn out to be a pa­per tiger — will be a dis­ser­vice to this na­tion.

The of­fice of Cen­tral Bank Gover­nor de­mands for its oc­cu­pa­tion a per­son with pre­vail­ing love for this coun­try as well as one driven by an un­flinch­ing in­tre­pid­ity.

But this pen be­lieves the time is long over­due for the pow­ers-that-be to get tougher with for­eign and lo­cal spon­sors of po­lit­i­cal may­hem which has the ef­fect of not only por­tray­ing the gov­ern­ment as weak in the eyes of the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity, but also se­ri­ously un­der­mines eco­nomic and so­cial pro­grammes by the state to bail the econ­omy out of the dol­drums into which the Western eco­nomic em­bargo has plunged it and to a brave new future for all.

Un­less put into ef­fect, and be seen to take ef­fect by giv­ing for­eign po­lit­i­cal spoil­ers short shrift and stock­tak­ing their lo­cal ilk, threats against trou­ble mak­ers in this coun­try will re­main just that — threats.

Dr John Man­gudya

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