ZiG is a marked down currency

President Emmerson Mnangagwa

Good day, President Emmerson Mnangagwa. Your Excellency, the Zimbabwe Gold  (ZiG) is a mare's nest through and through. It has no value at all.  As I see it, ZiG is a marked down currency. It is thoroughly prone to inflation. It was ill conceived and introduced amateurishly.

As Zimbabwe tries to claw back to a functional economy, it is prudent to embrace the wisdom of critical thinker Daniel Webster. He presaged, "If all my possessions were taken from me, with the exception of one, I would choose to keep the power of speech, for with it, I would regain the rest."

It did not augur well for ZiG, notwithstanding its ingrained shortcomings, that its introduction was characterised by contradictions and militancy than by persuasive strategies. It arouses suspicion in citizenry as money changers were harangued as unpatriotic to the State.

Yet, during the campaign period for the immediate past harmonised elections, the slogan, "Money Changers 4ED", was chanted on end with aplomb. Now, their arrest and bail refusal evidences untoward duplicity as well as cruelty on the part of government.

Your Excellency, it is my conviction that it is unethical for government to employ forceful means in its endeavours to enforce acceptance of ZiG. It was contrary to the investment ideals of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair that the occasion was used for threatening physical harm to money changers. It was not the ideal communication for the Presidency to say," We would not want you to end up being crippled after being attacked."

Your Excellency, I reckon if ZiG had been introduced four days earlier than April 5, the day it was launched, it could have passed for an apt April Fool's Day joke. It was small wonder that henceforth its introduction, citizenry became steamed up with utter despondency.

They are prickled to the core. From where I stand, ZiG is neither a structured currency nor is it well and truly backed by gold and other precious minerals as government is peddling. Rather, it was a reckless attempt of falling to the temptation to dice with economic fundamentals.

Yet, prospects of conformity with financial discipline like those of stable and progressive governance was altogether forlorn. Although you were recently reported as introducing a structured currency, in real terms, ZiG is all in all a deficient marked down currency.

It is my abiding conviction that a government that has a deficit of electoral credibility can be counted on to adhere to economic and financial integrity. Consequently, as the sixth attempt at having a currency that would stay the course was launched, the outcome was all but a venture in futility. Verily, ZiG is a marked down currency.

A structured currency is a monetary system that is designed to enhance stability and manage inflationary pressures. Furthermore, there has to be an independent institution, like a referee, which blows the whistle, should government heads to the printing press.

With the recent harmonised elections noted by the regional observer mission as having fallen short of the requirements of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, the Electoral Act, and the Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections (2021), government, so is your Presidency, are altogether bereft of credibility.

True to the adage, pride comes before a fall, observer missions from far afield, the African Union, Commonwealth and the European Union, to mention but the three, concluded that the conducting of the harmonised elections was not credible, transparent and inclusive.

Your Excellency, Zimbabwe does not have the integral morality and gentlemanly essence to refrain from the printing press. All the previous five currencies evidenced an insatiable avarice for printing money.

Apparently, you rendered ZiG a knockout punch in front of God and man, when you stood with a wad of United States dollars in your hands. It was a case of actions speaking louder than words that you deemed it stately  to award a dancer not with ZiG, but the US$.

Your Excellency, it is my fervent thought that had the renowned banker John Mushayavanhu known that he was inheriting a poisoned chalice when he was offered the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governorship, he ought have thought otherwise. He now sits on a hot seat.

There has been no respite for him, moreso following the introduction of ZiG on April 5. I reckon his preoccupation has been that of trying to make sense from the utterly senseless. Methinks government has fallen prey to irrational endeavours to compel acceptance of ZiG.

Yet, it is an open secret that ZiG is a veritable mare's nest. Considering that the reputation of Zimbabwe in regards to local currencies is tumultuous, characterised by hyperinflation and subsequent rejection by the market forces, the resistance of ZiG is altogether in good faith.

It is an impossible mission for Mushayavanhu to champion the acceptance of ZiG. With the voices of reason ruing in unison about the absence of a strategic roadmap of a well managed transition to ZiG, on the backdrop of its convertibility limitations, the road ahead is not tarred, signposted and well lit.

It staggers the mind that ZiG was launched notwithstanding its convertibility challenges and inability to pay for fuel and passports.

However, yet another twist is emerging as Finance minister Mthuli Ncube now ascribes the conceptualisation of ZiG to you. His narrative contradicts that of Mushayavanhu who criticised the World Bank for its advice and shortcomings of ZiG.

Amid the shifting narratives, it is imperative for Ncube and Mushayavanhu to aspire for  communication proficiency. Verily, it was for such contradictions that Pericles declared, "A man who has the knowledge but lacks the power clearly to express it is no better off than if he never had any ideas at all."

Your Excellency, despite the communication dissonance, evidence abound that ZiG is a marked down currency.

  •  Cyprian Muketiwa Ndawana is a public-speaking coach, motivational speaker, speechwriter and newspaper columnist.

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