PATRICK Mlambo’s ramblings in his article published in your June 17 edition are far removed from the realities in Zimbabwe. This gives the impression that Mlambo now has his eyes veiled by the pleasures of his New Zealand lifestyle
such that he is now bereft of coherent analysis and sound judgement, particularly when it comes to interpreting events back home.
His comments about Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono come at a time when the Quoted Companies Survey recognised Gono as the man who has contributed the most to economic advancement in Zimbabwe. Despite this recognition, which I think Gono well deserved, Mlambo fails to appreciate this prominent role that we who live in Zimbabwe get to see each day.
Furthermore, his comments on the monetary policy review statement presented in May this year suggest that Mlambo did not read the document at all.
First, he alleges that the monetary policy statement has “nothing for the ordinary man”.
Is not the ordinary man the farmer who stands to benefit from concessionary rates of 20%? Is not the ordinary man the prospective homeowner who will benefit from the $1 trillion housing facility that has been set up under this monetary policy? Is not the ordinary man the pensioner whose savings will be preserved by a review in the interest rate regime to rates above inflation levels?
Perhaps “ordinary” in Mlambo’s eyes is someone who lives outside Zimbabwe, such as he is currently doing. Even then, the Homelink Housing Development Scheme and other facilities developed for Zimbabweans in the diaspora should be of interest to such individuals.
Secondly, Mlambo seems to have problems with the Reserve Bank’s anti-corruption drive, as if Zimbabwe is the only country in the world that is bent on promoting sound ethical practices. For crying out loud Mlambo, even New Zealand is serious about combating corrupt practices, and Zimbabwe too must do the same as it is well-known that corruption poses a serious threat to economic development.
After reading Mlambo’s article, one is left thinking that perhaps the writer is fearful that the anti-corruption drive will jeopardise his own wayward activities that he is sponsoring or benefiting from in Zimbabwe. That would be the only way that his argument would be logical.
It should be made clear, Mlambo, that corruption is an evil regardless of whoever commits it. It should be realised that it is not just about “teaching children to grow up as good citizens”. No! God forbid!
It is also about bringing those adults, who may have been implicated in corrupt activities, to book so as to discourage any would-be offenders. Surely such basic principles of law enforcement also apply in New Zealand as they are applicable elsewhere in the world.
The monetary policy also recognises that exporters are pivotal to economic development hence the review of the export floor price, and the provision that this group can borrow at the lowest rate on offer, which is 5% per year. This, combined with other incentives, should help ensure that exporters are accommodated in as far as viability issues are concerned.
Mlambo is also distraught by the purchase of 50 cars by the central bank. It would be naive to think, as he does, that these vehicles have only been procured for the purposes of fighting corruption. He does not realise that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is more national in character than ever before, and that resources such as these would be needed to ensure that the bank has a significant presence countrywide.
Zimbabwe’s population is about 11 million, of which 75% live in the rural areas. From this perspective, it becomes clear that the cars are not even enough to accommodate the developmental needs of the country, but will go a long way in ensuring that the bank fully appreciates and then implements the developmental aspirations of the nation.
I challenge Mlambo to be more constructive than he has been.