Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

Since Mthuli Ncube took office, many astute observers predicted his tenure as Zimbabwe’s Minister of Finance would be less effective than his predecessor, Patrick Chinamasa, and other ZANU-PF appointed economic ministers. This prophecy seemed far-fetched to the less politically savvy, particularly the unemployed, drug-abusing youths who supported ZANU-PF. They viewed Ncube as a savior from the impending economic collapse, a crisis created by their own party, characterized by severe cash shortages and runaway inflation that rendered foreign currency practically worthless. This downfall was ironically foretold by Scarfmore, who once boasted about the strength of the foreign currency in the region.

Ncube’s tenure, along with Reserve Bank Governor John Mangudya, has been marked by the failure of their key initiative, the Transitional Stabilization Program, which promised austerity for prosperity. To date, this program has neither stabilized the economy nor brought prosperity. Instead, the market faces instability, and the oppressed populace under the illegitimate ZANU-PF regime suffers from poverty. The government’s focus seems to be on self-enrichment through plunder and looting, leading to the neglect of public welfare and service delivery.

The introduction of the local currency in 2019 was a fiasco. Hastily launched without considering the necessary economic fundamentals, it was doomed from the start. These fundamentals, including transparency and accountability in government spending and debt, were ignored. This negligence is symptomatic of a regime that lacks legitimacy, having ascended to power with the help of a politicized military and a judicial system indebted to the ruling faction.

In a true democracy, leaders govern by the consent of the people, a principle termed popular legitimacy. However, in Zimbabwe, the current government lacks this legitimacy, as it is seen as having been installed by force rather than popular will. This lack of legitimacy means that the government is indebted to those who helped it seize power, leading to a cycle of corruption and mismanagement. High-ranking military officers are often rewarded with public offices and luxury cars, contributing to budget deficits filled through quantitative easing, which in turn fuels inflation.

To maintain power and continue exploiting the country’s resources like gold, diamonds, platinum, and chrome, the government prints more money, feeding a flailing economy with an oversupply of a devalued local currency. This action only exacerbates inflation. The military, instrumental in bringing the current regime to power, expects protection from the economic fallout, leading to more money printing and borrowing of foreign currency to maintain their lavish lifestyles. These debts fall on the unknowing public, including ZANU-PF’s political base.

In conclusion, regardless of the measures introduced by the failing, pestilential, and parasitic ZANU-PF, the local currency’s fate seems sealed unless the fundamental issue of political legitimacy is addressed. Without this, the currency is on a path to extinction by year’s end.

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