'Cash crisis — a sign of worse things to come'

HARARE - The current cash shortages at local banks is a sign of worse things to come as it is analogous of the 2007 cash crisis although this time government cannot print the United States dollar, social and political analysts contend.

Amid the cash crisis war veterans are demanding payouts from government which, if granted, are set to drive the already comatose economy into acute distress.

Political commentator Mcdonald Lewanika said as for the country’s financial crisis it is like we are in a vicious cycle of repetition because every time the governing Zanu PF starts its internal purges they forget about the economy.

“Zanu PF got an overwhelming mandate to govern like in 2005 but, in both instances, instead of focusing on utilising that majority they start fighting each other; re-Tsholotsho, the economy goes into free fall due to lack of or poor management as the rulers focus on internal turf wars; eventually there are some breakaways from Zanu PF and it’s defeated in 2008.

“Come 2016, the cash crisis creeps in again and this at a time again when there are serious purges and new breakaways, hence the party has lost focus on the economy. And we have a cash crisis like in 2007.”

Legislator Jessi Majome believes we are yet to see the worst; worse than what we witnessed in 2007. “The crunch is yet to bite given the use of a foreign currency on the back of a collapsed productive sector.

“The government can’t bail itself out by printing the green back. This regime is incapable of learning anything. It knows nothing but plunders and is incapable of the fine art of tending an economy.”

Political commentator Elliot Pfebve said the country has gone to the dogs and the financial crisis is the last nail on the coffin. “It normally happens when people have no more trust with the banking system, monetary policy and their government.

“In such a state, the government is supposed to inject more money through quantitative easing, however, given that the Zanu PF government has noauthority to print US$, there is no way out, other than borrowing but which institution would lend money to a corrupt government?

“Worse is still to come!”

Media practitioner Tabani Moyo said one cannot help but be convinced that Zimbabwe is on auto-pilot, it is running itself with rapid accidental interventions which further worsen the course of the flight.

“The main challenge in terms of financial crisis is that we don’t have the enabling tools to address money supply into our economy because the central bank does not have a currency to manage.

“If the ‘owners’ of the currency one of these days decides to limit the financial ceiling imported into the country, we witness the sad situation, which the country is going through. Worse off no one seems to put attention to this dire situation as the entire Cabinet architecture is stuck in narrow politics of factionalism,” said Moyo.

He added the wheels are definitely off and the leadership has abrogated its responsibilities hiding behind the easy scapegoat of sanctions. Without a functional banking system, the entire national economy grinds to a halt.

“In functional countries, it is imperative that when such a crisis sends warning signals, the government will outline a clear statement of intent towards addressing the same, but in our case its ‘business as usual’. Pitfalls of poor leadership!”

Award winning actor Silvanos Mudzvova said during the 2007

crisis, it started as a cash crisis then spread to other basic commodities.

“At this rate, we are going towards the same scenario as in 2007. It clearly indicates there is no business happening in this country.

“We have killed all exporting companies and the president announced recently that mines should be taken over — what are we going to export now nothing? So the cash crisis is here to stay and queues have reappeared. We are actually headed for the worst, mukati gore rino kune Christmas, I doubt?”

Political commentator Blessing Vava said the signs are already showing that things will be tougher in the coming months. “And worse off, our economy is not performing well, ZimAsset seems to be a pipe-dream, the mega deals are nowhere and there is certainly nothing coming to boost our waning economic fortunes.”

Vava added that while Zimbabwe is facing a serious financial crisis with cash shortages, “Zanu PF seems not to care about the implications of some of their radical policies that people like (Patrick) Zhuwao and lately Mugabe have been uttering. Most often they embark on such policies without proper planning to appease their followers in the wake of disgruntlements and frustrations.”

Lewanika said as for the demands by the war vets we all know what happened the last time the government broke the bank to pay them off, quiet them down and get their support.

“The country went into a 10-year economic and political downward spiral. Given the current state of the nation, and some of the real challenges faced not just by war vets but the nation at large, one would hope that respected people like our vets would find their altruistic selves again, as they did in the 60s and 70s to look out not just for themselves but for the entire body politic.

“The values they pursued and principles they stood for and struggle there off was the total liberation of everyone and freedom and economic emancipation for all the black people; the time and tenor of their current demands, while understandable because they are suffering, is definitively different from the time and tenor of the gallant heroes that they turned into when they looked beyond themselves and their suffering to accommodate all the oppressed black people.

“What Zimbabwe needs are holistic national solutions not sectarian hand-outs to appease those making the most noise.”
Mudzvova said Mugabe will give in to demands by war veterans so as to maintain his hold on power.

“The war veterans’ demands were not budgeted for but Mugabe does have a way out except to give in worsening the already bad situation.

“In 1997 he gave in to their demands unbudgeted for and look what happened to the economy. We have never recovered and now they are demanding more which means the economy will sink further.”

Majome said: “The war veterans’ demands are set to drive the already comatose economy into acute distress.”

Moyo said the war vets for all intents and purposes showed beyond measure that they have lost the pulse of the nation.

“They reduced themselves from being a national asset which safeguards national interest through presenting an endless wish list aimed at addressing their selfish interests. They did not forward any national interest demands.

“In the end the meeting was another worst of time which failed to address anything except showcase of narrow personal interests which are detrimental to national interest.”

Moyo added that the war vets should be at the forefront of attempting to re-set the national priorities so that the nation remains true to the aims and objectives of the national liberation struggle which ushered Zimbabwe into existence.

“But when they behave like a spoiled brat, then you realise that the country has lost its nuts and bolts.”

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