THE current shortage of Zimbabwe dollar bank notes threatens the collapse of the Zimbabwean economy. Although that may (and may not) have the beneficial effect of forcing President Mugabe to abdicate, it would also have catastrophic short
– and middle-term effects on the livelihood and even the survival (physical not economic) of millions of Zimbabweans.
There are two possible solutions:
either Mugabe resigns as president with immediate effect, or the government (which is Mugabe) makes legal with immediate effect the holding of certain specified foreign currencies (probably US dollar and rand, with maybe also British pound) and their open use as legal tender inside Zimbabwe.
There would then be a situation of co-existence between the Zimbabwe currency and these specified foreign currencies.
There would also have to be a flexible and free exchange rate market inside the country between these currencies and the Zimbabwe dollar, not subject to any government control (although not the official position, that is pretty much what happens in practice already).
People could use these foreign bank notes freely and legally in shops, markets, filling stations, and with street traders.
Unfortunately Mugabe is a person with no morality and no feeling of duty to his people – the chances of him choosing a comfortable retirement are very slim.
Furthermore, there are immoral and unscrupulous cabinet ministers, senior army personnel, and even lots of very ordinary people who are making a lot of money from the present chaos and from other people’s suffering and misfortune.
These felons regrettably have a vested interest in extending the present untenable situation until the last gasp.
The meltdown is here, and it will spare no one.