Monday, February 16, 2009

What do we do now?

Many of us have been wondering for months what it will be like when The End comes. Well, The End has come – not yet for Mugabe and his henchmen and sycophants but for The Economy. What a good time/bad time for Tsvangirayi to take up the position of Prime Minister.

The Economy is now in such a mess that no-one knows what to do next. The Reserve Bank tells us we must all pay our US$12,000 (to the RBZ of course) and get a FOLIWARS licence which allows us to trade in US dollars and then remit 5% of our USD turnover to the RBZ. And we – individuals and corporates – must all apply to our banks for an FCA (Foreign Currency Account).

Within a few short days of the original announcement we are told that we don’t have to pay the $12,000 – only 5% of our US dollar revenue to the RBZ.

Just why we should pay anything to the RBZ for the destruction of the Zimbabwe Dollar is beyond me. We didn’t destroy the Zimbabwe dollar, the RBZ did that all by itself.

The banks – all technically now insolvent because no-one is using the banking services and they have no assets left – are falling all over themselves to get customers to open FCA’s and re-start using their services. With indecent haste and greed, they are listing costs for these services out of all reality.

While all this is going on, in the background the utilities – Tel One, the phone company, ZESA, the electricity supply authority, and the various City Councils have started invoicing their clients in USD. A friend of mine received his invoice today – US$440 for the provision of a hardly used domestic phone service. No calls itemised on the bill. Whilst it is also rumoured that Zimbabwe Online – an ISP – received a phone bill for US$50,000 for the provision of services for 1 month. It is doubtful whether anyone in his right mind will pay for these services at these prices.

Tendai Biti, the new MDC Minister of Finance who is a man much hated by ZANU PF and RBZ Governor, Gideon Gono, has said that he wants the Zimbabwe Dollar to survive in preference to ‘Randising’ the economy. He has a lot of work to do to achieve that and much more needed right now is a means of paying for services, whether it be paying your labour, paying your suppliers, or paying your utility bills.

We also need to get the Stock Exchange, which hasn’t traded since mid-November last year, back into operation.

Will anyone ever be able to quantify the financial destruction that Robert Mugabe has managed to achieve since he took office in 1980?

Another story we hear today is that Mugabe has recently purchased himself a US$5 million luxury home in Hong Kong. We want the money back, please. It will keep the economy going for a month or two yet. And then we want the rest back too. All the money that Mugabe, Gono and RBZ have siphoned out of this country for their own personal greed at the expense of the ordinary people.

No comments: