Jonathan Moyo tells Mushayavanhu to stick to monetary policy and leave money changers to the police


One bane of recent public discourse in Zimbabwe is not only that it is never about ideas or issues but it is invariably about ‘good guys’ versus ‘bad guys’ – depending on their real or perceived political affiliation – but also that it entirely proceeds on a weird presumption that if you agree with or support something said by a prominent someone today, you must support or agree with everything they say thenceforth; and conversely, that if you oppose or disagree with something said today by someone prominent, you must forever oppose or disagree with everything said by that person from thereon.

The same scourge pervades public debate on and discussion of issues. In Zimbabwe today if, for example, your position from the start is that it is a good and sound national policy idea to have the ZiG as a structured national currency backed mainly by gold and supported by a mix of other minerals along with forex reserves; then you must thenceforth never find anything wrong or concerning with or said or done about the ZiG currency. Rather, so goes the strange logic, you must be permanently locked in a ZiG corner, and rot there until the end of the world. And the flipside of this weird narrative is that if you started by criticising the ZiG currency from the time when it was launched by Dr Mushayavanhu in his 5 April MPS, then you must remain a permanent critic of the currency, and you must never find or say anything good about it.

In the same vein, if you commend someone today because of something they have said or they have done about something notable or significant in the national scheme of things, you must not from that point onwards find anything to condemn about what that person says or does not only regarding the thing you commended them for earlier on, but regarding anything else they say. By the same token the opposite holds, mutatis mutandis, such that if you start by condemning something said or done today by someone; you must not commend anything else subsequently said or done by that someone.

It is in these weird political circumstances that public discourse in Zimbabwe has become nauseatingly irrational, corrupt and rotten to the core; principally if not only because it is not about ideas or issues; but it is about presumed ‘good guys’ versus presumed ‘bad guys’, as seen from the spectrum of their political affiliation or even as seen on the grounds of which individual politician they support within the factions of the same political formations.  In terms of this template – which is the template of thoughtless noisemakers – if a ‘good guy’ says the wrong thing, that thing must become right; and if a ‘bad guy’ says the right thing, that thing must become wrong.

Witness how, using this thoughtless template, noisemakers have been falling on each, pretending that they are surprised when people like this writer who supported the ZiG as a viable national currency when it was launched; and who still support it today; took issue with RBZ Governor Dr John Mushayavanhu for his recent unfortunate and embarrassing remarks about the advisory role of a World Bank consultant in the adoption of the ZiG, and the importance or responsibility he attributed to that consultant, while painting the RBZ as having been largely clueless in the process.

Continued next page


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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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