Kwanhasi uku kutaura kwevakuru. (This is just a way for ‘the elders’ to say it in a way that saves them face). This just about sums today’s announcement by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe that we can use USD again ‘to make things easier during this COVID 19 pandemic.’
Everyone was saying the Zimbabwean economy was re-dollarising again but Mthuli Ncube and John Mangudya insisted that the country had ‘successfully de-dollarised.’ In fact they went further and said we should congratulate them for this success, other countries have tried it and failed.
It was not even re-dollarisation
Haaya… What world do these guys live in? The fact of the matter is that the economy had not re-dollarised as everyone said, the country had never de-dollarised to begion with so it was inaccurate even to say it had re-dollarised.
All of us knew when we bought stuff in the shops the prices were pegged in US dollars and then the the Zim dollar (or is it RTGS$) price would then be computed backwards using the parallel market exchange rate. A lot of retailers didn’t even bother keeping up with the charade anymore, they quoted their prices in USD and you had to ask them how much an item was in local currency on any day (the rate changes everyday).
The government more equal than others
The government itself charged for a number of services in USD and even the law code defines a number of things in USD terms. The most hilarious thing was when John Mangudya said that paying for fuel, passports and a host of other ‘approved’ commodities was not dollarisation but rather it was to strengthen de-dollarisation. Where does this guy get his lines? Entertaining us ne Corona ino.
Today Mangudya announced that we could start buying in USD again to protect us in these COVID 19 times. This is nothing but clutching at the COVID 19 coat tails to save face. Their gymnastics with a non money local currency wasn’t working and COVID 19 is an excuse to give up on the acrobatics. A bad excuse at that because the rationale is not even clear.
Let me end here. See you again after the next abrupt and meaningless change in policy in a few weeks time…
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