Now is the time for action, Mr President

HARARE - President Emmerson Mnangagwa has made a lot of promises ever since he came to power in November 2017, and again when he was elected in the disputed July 30 election.

One of Mnangagwa’s proclamations in his first days in office was that his administration would take corruption head-on.

The president even published a list of individuals and companies he claimed had externalised millions of United States dollars to offshore accounts and tax havens around the globe.

Nothing has materialised from this naming and shaming exercise while government claims that a number of people on that list had returned the money back to Zimbabwe.

Mnangagwa’s government has not made significant arrests since his anti-corruption fight began.

Only those who have fallen out of favour with the regime like former Health minister David Parirenyatwa, have been arrested and dragged to court on weak charges. 

Following the announcement of a new transaction tax by Finance minister Mthuli Ncube earlier this month, the economy has been on a free-fall. The bond note’s value had drastically dropped on the parallel market while basic commodities have disappeared from shop shelves. Pharmacies and most traders are now demanding payment in US dollars while fuel supply at services stations is erratic.

It’s a ticking time bomb waiting to happen as Zimbabwe has slipped back into the 2008 hyperinflationary period.

Mnangagwa has once again promised to deal with illegal foreign currency traders whom he alleges are behind this carnage in the economy.

Once again, Zimbabweans will be sceptical of Mnangagwa’s threat because we have heard all this before.

The president is full of rhetoric with very little action taking place thereafter.

Chasing down money changers and throwing them behind bars will not be the solution to solving this current economic crisis.

Illegal foreign currency dealers exist because there is a gap in the market which they are plugging. Zimbabweans cannot access foreign currency in banks and turn to the illegal money changers the government is trying to chase away.

As a result of the demand for forex by the general public, this trade will continue to exist with the money changers’ modus operandi evolving.

Instead of just going to a street corner and conclude a transaction with a random forex dealer, Zimbabweans are now conducting their business in secret.

So this blitz by government and the police will not be successful unless Mnangagwa and Ncube address the fundamentals.

Comments (2)

first things first.the government should make sure forex is available in the banks otherwise its clear we will turn to those illegal dealers ,wat do i do , i want to buy my product online and i just have the so called surrowgate currency .their operation has very minimal probability of success .however i wish all the best to this government.

erikson - 25 October 2018

Sadly, it is becoming more and more apparent that the President is merely a puppet whose strings are being pulled by the corrupt and greedy hierarchy of the Party.

David - 26 October 2018

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