Could Mnangagwa finally be getting things right?


Mnangagwa is, however, an astute businessman in his own right. Those who know that he is now on the right track are, therefore, putting the spanners in the works because his success will not only be bad news for the opposition but for South Africa as well.

Their biggest weapon to stop Mnangagwa, it seems, is the country’s currency. The attack on the local currency directly impacts on all the other ills Zimbabwe is facing- inflation, escalating prices, erosion of wages, and corruption as those with means to cash-in.

Zimbabwe’s local currency has been under siege since the country introduced bond notes as a way of trying to solve the shortage of change in the market as it did not have United States coins. Things got worse in October 2018 when Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube separated United States dollar accounts from RTGS and bond note accounts.

This was viewed as officially turning the bond note and electronic money into a local currency. The assault on the local currency started. Matters got worse when Ncube declared that the local currency was now the sole currency for all internal trading. Things have never been the same since.

Mnangagwa’s administration has been blamed for all sorts of things including gross mismanagement of the economy and corruption. While corruption is indeed, rampant in the country, by abandoning the United States dollar to adopt its own currency after a decade, Zimbabwe had literally declared war against the United States.

John Perkins in his book, New confessions of an economic hitman, says Turkey’s former ambassador to Libya Uluç Özülker told him that Britain, France and the United States teamed up to remove Muammar Gadhafi because he had encouraged other Arab countries to sell their oil in the Libyan gold dinar instead of the United States dollar.

“As you know, Washington and Wall Street view attacks on the dollar and the Federal Reserve practically as acts of war. So, the US and Britain joined France and the other NATO countries in a ‘civil war’ that eventually overthrew and assassinated Gadhafi,” Uluc said.

This is how serious Zimbabwe’s plan to de-dollarise is. Washington is not taking it lightly and it has a key local ally- the business sector.  Zimbabwe business wants the return of the US dollar at any cost.

Mnangagwa, therefore, has a tall order. But, according to the business insider, some investors are just waiting to pounce.  While there is a general feeling that Zimbabwe is failing to attract foreign investment because investors have been scared away by Mnangagwa, the insider said locals were actually holding back.

“The common stance among most firms in Zim right now is to take full control ahead of the anticipated economic boom,” the insider said. “You may be aware that a number of firms are being approached by foreign investors but they are buying time so that they don’t sell their shares cheap.”

With all the pressure that is piling on Mnangagwa, such comments can easily be written off as ZANU-PF propaganda. Time will tell.

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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