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Hello Darkness: 2019 Preview

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According to Zimbabwe’s largest daily, The Herald, Zimbabweans are very optimistic about the country’s economic prospects in 2019. That’s the thing about stuff you see in the Herald- always assume the opposite of whatever you read is true and this is no exception.

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2019 is going to be tougher than 2018 and Zimbabweans have been beaten into submission by the just past year that they have already embraced their fate. There is no fuel despite what the Herald says, hospitals are as good as closed, prices are beyond the reach of many including myself and for the umpteenth time the bond note/Ecocash/RTGS is not equal to the USD.

Say hello to darkness

My family has a new year tradition that my father started almost 25 years ago. When the clock strikes mid-night on New Year’s eve we turn on a floodlight to signal the beginning of new year and make some sort of toast to new beginnings.

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Well this year we had no power and had to do with the solar lamp. My despondent uncle had no kind or comforting words for the family when he made the new year toast. His words:

Say Hello to the darkness my dear friends for this is just the beginning

He has always been morose and dark my uncle but I am afraid he is right. The rhetoric from our government, the hubris, the arrogance is more than enough proof that our crisis is just beginning. They clearly think they are on the right path and nothing not even reality, history or common sense is going to dissuade them to change their ways.

Expect more shortages pain and suffering

When the minister of Finance presented his budget what seems like eons ago I predicted this. The government was flexing its muscle without a thought for the people or the civil service. The civil servants would also flex their muscle in response. The government cannot seriously expect people to accept a budget that says they will never legally own a car when ministers and chiefs get luxury cars.

Well it has already begun with the doctor’s having gone on a strike almost a month ago. Schools are going to open next week and while most parents are going to struggle to raise fees do not expect much learning to take place. There will be teacher’s strikes, nurses strikes, lecturer’s strikes-everyone who can is going to go on strike unless they are proffered a pay rise.

Expect the fuel crisis to persist and become worse. Expect power cuts due to faults exacerbated by the forex shortage. Expect hyperinflation.Expect chaos. Expect darkness. Prepare for it and embrace it until the inevitable happens.

Eventually the bond note will be wholesomely rejected

The Zimbabwean government will have us believe it was their idea to adopt the multi-currency basket. Enough time has passed a lot of people actually accept this lie. The reality, I remember, was that way before the law caught up every shop I knew was demanding US dollars or Rands.

Everybody was rejecting their worthless currency. The villain of the day Gideon Gono even tried to come up with FOLIWARS ( Foreign Exchange Licensed Warehouses and Shops). Under this directive well connected goons would get the privilege to sell their wares in Foreign currency while the rest of us had to accept worthless local payments. Just like now the local currency had an unrealistic fixed exchange rate that the government had cooked up to suit the elite.

Just like now the country wholesomely rejected such discriminatory policies. Mthuli Ncube is doing the same here, certain individuals are being given tacit approval to sell in forex while the rest of us have to accept practically worthless bond notes. Expect people in 2019 to reject the bond notes and RTGSes. Again the RBZ has proven they cannot be trusted with managing a country’s currency. Under political influence from the ruling party they have been “printing” money backed by thin air.

My top shock moment of 2018 came when John Mangudya, the governor of the RBZ, said he did not know where the ballooning RTGS balance came from. Either he is the most incompetent governor in the world or he is being dishonest and lying. I am going to go with dishonest and deceitful here.

With such fiscal and monetary leaders who needs sanctions.

My top new year resolution

In typical new year tradition I have come up with new year resolutions. Past experience tells me I am going to abandon most of these unrealistic goals in not time. I am not going to have a problem fulfilling the first one.

Stop reading the Herald man, why do you do that to yourself.


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Bond NotesHeraldGideon Gono

Bond Notes are a currency of notes backed by a bond that the Zimbabwe government announced on 4 May 2016 by Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor John Mangudya. The $2 denomination of the notes was finally introduced on 28 November 2016. More notes were... Read More About Bond Notes

The Herald is a daily newspaper and internet publication published under the Zimbabwe Newspapers (Zimpapers) stable in Harare. It is also the country's oldest newspaper still in print. Read More About Herald

Gideon Gono is the former Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) a position he was in from 2003 to 2013. He is also former CEO of the CBZ Holdings, formerly known as the Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe, and Jewel Bank. Gono is known... Read More About Gideon Gono


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