Mangudya lied, he’s the one to blame for cooking oil shortage says the manufacturers

Tinashe Nyahasha Avatar

This past weekend was an action packed one and it all started on WhatsApp, no wonder the Chinese government is restricting the app. So some guy or girl drafts up a message of doom on WhatsApp telling Zimbabweans that there are about to be serious shortages of basic commodities because of the excessive ‘printing’ of ‘non’ money by the RBZ.

Zimbabweans responded. They need not hear such news twice, they know how it was in 2008 and they won’t let it spring up on them again. Droves of people went to their closest supermarket or tuck shop to buy as many essentials as they could. The clever word smiths were ready too, they already had a term for what happened: ‘panic buying’ they called it and panic buying it was.

The Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Dr John Mangudya was quick to respond too. He issued a statement assuring the nation that all was in order because his institution was now allocating more resources (he calls it foreign exchange) to the importation of our everyday basics. He even asserted that the Zimbabwean economy was on the mend at the backdrop of good performance in agriculture and mining. We felt insulted by this declaration.

Now the weekend was extended or at least the action continued yesterday. The collective body that represents the companies that make cooking oil (these folks supply 95% of the cooking oil we consume) tell a different story:

VaMangudya lied

The governor in his statement said that he had increased allocation of forex to import basic commodities. The cooking oil guys and girls say no. It’s either cooking oil is not considered a basic commodity by the national grocery shoppers at RBZ or the man just lied. The oil companies said for the past three months they have only received 44% of the foreign currency they need to import raw materials to ensure you and I have muriwo une mafuta.

What are the raw materials again?

A big portion of what these manufacturers are calling raw materials is nothing but soya beans and other such AGRICULTURAL produce. According to Dr John, the economy is on the mend because our agriculture is shooting through the roof. In our article on Saturday we raised the question why he would say he has increased spending on the importation of basic goods if we are doing so well. Turns out the guy was just not being truthful: he is giving cooking oil makers 44% of what they need. Added to that, there is no agriculture to talk about if we need to import USD20million worth of soya beans per month just for cooking oil.

Oil makers or VaMangudya, who is telling the truth?

To answer this question we have to ask another one: why cooking oil? Zimbabweans went on a rampage to stock up on all they could that would ensure their survival in the 2008 re-enactment. The commodity to really disappear off the shelves was cooking oil. Why? The answer could be really that RBZ grocery shoppers are allocating less than half what’s required to ensure oil keeps flowing into our pots.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe seems to have a thing against all things oil because our cars are starving of fuel. The fuel queues are getting longer. It’s annoying having to lose productive time just waiting in line for something as basic as petrol for your car. They lying Tom here is the governor, he tells there are no shortages when we see them. Are people panic buying petrol too? Maybe they are.

VaMangudya spoke again yesterday

The Governor spoke to The Chronicle yesterday and attacked banks and ‘cash barons.’ Besides not knowing what a cash baron really looks like I see this rhetoric as an exercise in futility. How does he plan to act on the selling of cash when his boss is not even aware of any such selling of cash?

What’s happening with the ‘RTGS printed’ money is the most obvious thing that was going to happen. If you trace the history of money you will realise that what is happening in Zimbabwe right now is play by play acting out of the history of money from the ancient Egyptians who invented the earliest forms of money through to the Greeks of old right to post World War 1 Germany and right up to Zimbabwe version 2008!

Who is the biggest buyer of foreign currency on the streets?

I will obviously not risk being arrested by answering that question. Minister Ignatius Chombo read the riot act and promised to arrest whoever answers that question truthfully.

What’s the contribution of WhatsApp in all this?

The RBZ Governor was very cross with the originator of the WhatsApp message that ’caused’ the shortage of cooking oil. Minister Chombo was equally cross and he even confessed to know who this person is. However, the dude or dudette who sent that message for the very first time was not the one who cut the national cooking oil budget by 44%. They probably don’t work at any tall building where our grocery needs are decided.




  1. MacdChip

    Guys! You now need to employ real journalist to compete with likes of Newsday and Dairly News!!

    At this pace, the days of techzim really meaning technical news are evaporating quicker and heading straight into the political storm.

    Mukakwira mugomo muchitsvaga makudo munomawana, nzira yomofamba iyi ine minzwa

    1. Marvsta

      If you have nothing to say its better to keep quiet than to send subtle threats. No wonder we don’t develop as a people; its because of people like you who don’t want to hear the truth as it is.

      1. MacdChip

        There is a platfrom for that, here its a technical site. You are accusing me of not liking to hear the truth, but then you turn around trying to shut me from saying what everyone knows about Zimbabwe political environment. What a hypocrite!!

        No one is stopped from expressing their views, but there is place for everything, like you dont have you bedroom in your toilet.

        1. Tinashe Nyahasha

          Hi MacD
          Thanks for expressing your disappointment in us and I am sorry we have failed to measure up to your legitimate expectations. You are right in that you as well as all our readers have expectations from us and we should respect these expectations and not take them for granted.

          On the 13th of December we announced right here that we are moving from mere focus on technology but to report on business as well. Some of the sentiment we expressed then was not entirely accurate though and in response to reader feedback we have changed slightly from the hard stance we were taking to write for brands and not for readers. That was wrong and we should not have gone down that road. Our most important assert is the audience we have.

          However, to include business and other broader subjects like education in the Techzim content is still very important. First it is important because you our readers demand it of us. Secondly, discussing technology in isolation is very difficult particularly in our economy.

          Technology influences our everyday life and is influenced much by the macroeconomy. We believe the internet is solving some of the age old problems that our economies face for example blockchain technology. Now, as we have grown our user base over the years it has become very clear that some of these topics cannot be discussed without also tackling other fundamental topics in the super broad area of business and economics.

          Sometimes we go overboard I must admit. Those are the times that we need you our readers the most particularly you MacD and others who have followed Techzim for a long time. In many ways you are more Techzim than I am and yet I am leading the business. I hope you will keep your support of the brand and that you will bear with us when our choice of content does not make sense to you. Sometimes the dots connect in our heads but this could just be our heads. I am sure you understand that.

          That as it may, I acknowledge that as we change (which every business must change continuously) we understand that we risk disappointing our most loyal readers like you. It’s a risk we have to take as we seek growth and it’s a risk we are comfortable taking because we believe you our loyal readers are free to be disappointed in us but understand our motives more clearly and you are able to forgive us. This is not to say we take you for granted but this is to say we trust the bond we have with you.

          I will not want to see the day when MacD is no longer active on Techzim as well as Imi Vanhu Musadaro and the rest of you. I will also not want to see the day when we remain with the same number of readers for ions… Our big responsibility is to juggle this seeming paradox everyday. As we do this we will not always get the best scientific balance but we know you got our back!

          Hope this long message captures our hearts and I hope it wins us your hearts all over again and we will strive to win said hearts every single day….


  2. feed up reader

    Asi techzim yatova financial Gazette? Do you still have tech news for Us?

    1. Tinashe Nyahasha

      I refer yoiu to my reply to MacD above

  3. reader

    Good job TechZim, soon you will be like MyBroadband SA which is not only about tech but also reports on notable current events.

    1. Tinashe Nyahasha

      Thanks for the pat on back. We need to find a formula that helps us do this without anatgonising our readers much both old and new…. balance balance….

  4. Sagitarr

    Keep giving us info and real news. These days info is converging. What might appear like a “cooking oil” story affects tech companies as well, in their case it is tech devices which also require forex. This is the trend with many technical websites these days because, ultimately issues tend to intertwine at some point. Perhaps TechZim simply needs to reformat their news articles such that the discerning readers find it easy to skip those they deem “offside”…I can think of the “kneeling” sportsmen in USA vs “Flag & Country” rhetoric from Trump. When is the right time and right form or arena of communicating pressing issues in a world that is so dynamic?

    1. MacdChip

      I do agree, every story can be written from every angle be it political, technical or social. It depends on how you present it to your readers. There is a technical touch in every political story, but it all comes out depending on where the focus is.

      1. Tinashe Nyahasha

        Yea MacD, and we will not always get it right hey, please don’t stop calling us out when we appear to be straying. As we do this we also must resist the temptation or tendency to be everything to everyone. That will be our downfall. That is where you become very useful to us as our conscience

    2. Tinashe Nyahasha

      Spot on Sagitarr, the modern economy has become so meshed and mixed now. You are right that we need to redesign and order the content in a way that is super intuitive and makes sense for all readers. I am particularly excited about your comment because you are also one of the consistent and longest serving followers of Techzim

  5. Cynthia

    Mr John (Bond) Mangudya = Mr Gideo (Inflation) Gono

    One and the same

    Clueless, pilfering, lying, selfish, condescending, dull, ignorant, fat, arrogant, useless and greedy.

    1. ufranco

      I donot think Mangudya or Gono are any of those things, if anything these guys are masochists.

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