THE government on Monday made a brazen admission that it had failed to run the country when it decided to slash three zeros from our currency in what must be a daylight attempt to short-circuit the economy.
>Gideon Gono has simply confirmed that Zimbabwe has become a banana republic. Slashing the zeros is what failed governments always do, and Zimbabwe is simply following in the shameful footsteps of Peru, Argentina and Angola where the same solutions failed to rescue unwanted and doomed governments desperate to enhance their political fortunes. Shoplifting failed political and economic ideas from banana republics has become this government’s favourite pastime.
Slashing the zeros has never been the panacea to a crisis of governance. Slashing the zeros can never bring relief to a battered economy that is a hapless victim of a failed state and a failed government, which has no respect for human rights and the rule of law.
Re-basing the currency cannot be the panacea to a crisis that squarely lies on an illegitimate government that has failed to govern. It is not the zeros that are at the core of the Zimbabwean crisis. The MDC believes it is not simply the zeros that must go. Mugabe is the big zero that must go!
The government will burn more midnight oil printing the so-called “new” family of bearer cheques which this regime thinks will solve Zimbabwe’s economic problems in one fell swoop.
It is such kind of thinking that has led to this fool’s paradise because printing money is a sign of failed economics. It represents a last resort by a failed government that has failed to lay the necessary economic groundwork to a functioning economy; a government that has failed to put in place the necessary political climate and environment that makes the supply side of the economy thrive.
Slashing the zeros will simply help in lessening the amount of money people carry around. But it does not address the visible signs of a failed economy such as low production, high government expenditure, the value of the Zimbabwe dollar and the acute foreign currency shortages that have affected fuel and power imports, which in turn have paralysed the productive sector.
The MDC believes Gono’s monetary statement is a desperate attempt to rig the economy; it was a statement full of sound and fury but signifying nothing; a shrill statement full of catchy-phrases and sound bites but with no significance to the real demands of the economy and the suffering people of Zimbabwe.
Gono’s statement was a crybaby statement with no solutions. Bold statements condemning corruption without the necessary political will do not take us anywhere. If this government’s war on the zeros could be turned into a real and purposeful fight against corruption, bad governance and human rights abuses, Zimbabwe could be a different story. The national crisis is deeper than the regime’s fixation with zeros!
The MDC believes the final solution to the problems facing the country is political. There must be a concerted effort for a political settlement of the national crisis. The Save Zimbabwe Convention agreed to such a political settlement.
President Mugabe and his government must be made to agree to a peaceful resolution of the national crisis.
The MDC’s roadmap is our humble submission to such a resolution. The regime must agree to a new, people-driven constitution, a transitional authority, free and fair elections under international supervision and a reconstruction and stabilisation programme in a post-transitional era.
The people are ready to save Zimbabwe. And the people will achieve their vision of a New Zimbabwe.
MDC Shadow Minister for
Finance and Economic Affairs.