“Biti’s choice of crude language not only reveals his analytical deficiencies, but also demonstrates lack of sophistication and poise normally associated with a global platform such as Chatham House. He has much to learn. However, this may take a while.”
The nation has been in the grip of terror this week after President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced that the country will soon have its own currency.
Outside of witchcraft, few things scare a Zimbabwean more than the sight of the Zimdollar. It causes them to sweat and lie awake in bed all night, wondering how quickly they can get rid of the Zimdollar and buy US dollars, or “real money”, as our Dear Leader describes it.
If Mnangagwa had his way — and he always seems to do — then we will soon have our own currency.
“South Africa has its own currency and when you go there with the US dollar or euro, you will have to convert it to the rand before you can transact. The same applies to Zambia, Botswana, Mozambique and the United Kingdom. A country cannot develop using another nation’s currency,” he told broom-wielding supporters at a clean-up event in Southlea Park, a dusty settlement where, incidentally, his nephew happens to be an MP.
But Zimbabweans need not fear. We are all certain that Cde Emmerson has a trick up his sleeve to make us all suddenly trust a Zanu PF government with money again. After all, isn’t this the new dispensation? Isn’t it there is no Gideon Gono at Reserve Bank anymore? We have our John Mangudya, a man the whole world trusts.
After all, have we not been told by the IMF, the World Bank and others that we are on the right path? We are a sovereign nation, and we can no longer keep using the imperialist’s money. We need to also go around the world showing off our money.
Instead of being terrified for nothing, we must prepare ourselves by running a national competition to name and design the new money. Our old notes used to have things like wildlife. Since we have poached most of it, maybe we should have pictures that reflect things that define us now. Instead of those old pictures of the mighty Victoria Falls we had on old notes, let’s have pictures of sewage cascading beautifully into Mukuvusi.
Speaking of the economy, Zimbabweans got a reminder once again of the temperament of the sort of people in charge of our money.
After repeated insults from Tendai Biti, Finance minister Mthuli Ncube finally snapped. That whole Oxford professor decorum flew right out the window. After some remarks purportedly made by Biti in London, in which he is said to have uncharitably cast doubt Ncube’s mental state, Ncube tweeted back in rage.
“Biti’s choice of crude language not only reveals his analytical deficiencies, but also demonstrates lack of sophistication and poise normally associated with a global platform such as Chatham House. He has much to learn. However, this may take a while,” Ncube shot back.
Two things stood out here. First, anyone that think they can successfully challenge Biti in a game of childish insults is being, well, childish. The man is an undisputed champion in that field, and he has a long list of victims, from journalists to known clowns like Terence Mukupe.
Second, that Ncube has so much time on his hands to be responding to insults on the internet when he has more important work to do, shows how idle he must be. You would think inflation and the currency crisis would be keeping him busy, not Biti’s usual hot air.
Come on, Prof Ncube. Are you getting bored by staring at your beloved surplus all day?
Rule of law
The Herald declared this week that a besieged white Chipinge coffee farmer had been rescued from losing his operation.
“Government has resolved the ownership dispute of a portion of Farfell Coffee Estate in Chipinge involving Messrs Richard Le Vieux and Remembrance Mbudzana to enable continued commercial production of the crop at the farm in the hands of the former,” it was reported.
Of course, this is supposed to send the message that Mnangagwa is the one that resolved this commercial dispute, all in line with the “Zimbabwe is Open for Business” slogan of the “new dispensation”.
Critics will say true show of the rule of law would be the law being seen to take its course, but then wouldn’t that steal glory from His Excellency, the Great Business-Friendly leader? Would Herald put Mnangagwa on the front page if disputes were handled by the law as they should?
Still, Muckraker was amused by the headline Government rescues top coffee farmer. It is always good when Zanu PF announces it has rescued people from itself.
It does not take much to excite Information deputy minister and failed rhumba musician Energy Mutodi as his tweet this week clearly showed. In a shameful attempt to paint a rosy picture of his boss Mnangagwa’s popularity, which has plummeted due to his dismal failure to address the country’s economic crisis, Mutodi pointed out that the purchase of Mnangagwa’s scarf by crony and businessman Kuda Tagwirei at a fundraising dinner for the men’s national soccer team was testament of the septuagenarian leader’s popularity.
“President ED Mnangagwa’s scarf was yesterday auctioned for a whooping RTGS$250 000 at the Warriors fundraising dinner proving the president’s popularity,” Mutodi said in a tweet that surely got readers in gales of derisive laughter. “A tycoon, Kudakwashe Tagwirei, wrestled the scarf away after out-bidding another businessman Tinoda Machakaire.”
Indeed, Mnangagwa is so popular that he has bought hordes of ammunition to repel protesters tired of his lofty promises on which he has totally failed to deliver and is now drawing unfavourable comparisons to his predecessor and despot Robert Mugabe. It is such infantile tweets that have made Mutodi a laughing stock and undoubtedly the government jester.
Prosperity for them
Ncube told us there would be “austerity before prosperity”. We were told we would all need to suffer for a while before it all gets better. We are all glad to see that it is already working, as our leaders have already entered the prosperity phase, to prepare for the arrival of the povo who are still in the austerity stretch.
Zanu PF MP Justice Mayor Wadyajena was the toast of the masses this week after he imported a Lamborghini Urus. Many of us had never heard of this car, before he imported it. We are grateful to our MPs for giving us such useful education.
“I became a (millionaire) in my early 20s, that yellow super machine is hard-earned, legitimately too,” he boasted on Twitter.
This should be inspiring to the children of Nyamuroro and Buro schools in Wadyajena’s Nembudziya who will obviously cheer the news. As soon as he arrives there, having somehow managed to drive his new toy down the diabolical Sanyati road, they will emerge barefoot from their mud and thatch classrooms to sing and dance in his honour.
These are the leaders we all wish for. They eat first, on behalf of the masses.
Chinamasa too happy to ride a dead donkey
Ncube and Biti were not the only ones who are or were finance ministers in the news this week.
Muckraker joins the nation in congratulating Patrick Chinamasa, for his appointment as chairperson of one-and-a-half airplanes.
“Cde Patrick Chinamasa, who is the Zanu PF secretary for finance, has served the Government of Zimbabwe in several government portfolios, including that of Minister of Finance and Economic Development,” a statement from the Office of the President and Cabinet announced.
His appointment as head of the Air Zimbabwe board was met with wild cheers across Rusape. Such celebrations are common when the local village boy finally finds a job.
Where Muckraker comes from, when this happened, the entire village would wake up at dawn to accompany the village boy to the bus station, to catch the earliest Munhenzwa Bus to town.
He is the pride of Mutasa. The man missed the limelight, even resorting to officially opening bins to show his leader that he could still perform official duties.
It is neither here nor there that Chinamasa is to chair a board that does not exist, seeing as Air Zimbabwe is under administration. Did former Mines permanent secretary Francis Gudyanga not lead the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe board all on his own once? Did he not hold board meetings on his own and give himself sitting allowances? This is standard government practice. So why not Chinamasa?
We now all know what Mnangagwa meant when he said he would create “jobs, jobs, jobs”.