Connect with us

Support The NewsHawks


From Black Friday to ZiGgy Friday



WHAT Zimbabwe urgently needs is not yet another currency gimmick but confidence and trust in the governance of this troubled country.

The ill-fated decision to change the name of the wretched currency from the Zimbabwe dollar to the ZiG (Zimbabwe Gold) is ample evidence of the utter cluelessness of medieval political charlatans masquerading as leaders in the 21st century.

Those who are old enough will recall 14 November 1997—a day so catastrophic it was dubbed Black Friday.

On that day, which is etched in the annals of this country’s economic history, the Zimbabwe dollar crashed and has never recovered.

 For 27 long years, since that ignominious day, our rulers have lurched from one crisis to another, fumbling in the dark for elusive solutions.

From Black Friday to ZiGgy Friday, we have learnt nothing — is that not a fact?
Here we are, in 2024. Chronic high inflation — itself a festering symptom of leadership failure — has spectacularly decimated the value of the Zimdollar.

 It would be wishful thinking to assume that the ZiG is immune to this deep-seated debilitating malady.

The introduction of the “new” currency is a desperate attempt to close the stable door after the horses have already bolted.

You cannot simply slash a string of zeros from a worthless currency and suddenly pretend to have created the strongest monetary unit in southern Africa. By what alchemy?

How many times will the long-suffering people of Zimbabwe watch helplessly as their savings, livelihoods, salaries and pensions are wiped out at the stroke of a pen by uncaring elites? We are witnessing yet another grand heist on the poverty-stricken masses.

In the absence of the restoration of confidence in the governance of the country, attaining long-term economic stability will prove a toll order.

The incoming Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor, John Mushayavanhu — nicknamed John the Second — faces the same old principal-agent dilemma and it will be interesting to see whether he is independently minded enough or has the courage of his convictions to push back on the ruinous demands of wayward political meddlers.

It is trite economics that a strong and stable economy relies not just on the currency itself, but also on the broader governance structures, monetary policies, and economic fundamentals of a country.

Without trust and confidence in the governance and economic policies of Zimbabwe, simply introducing a new ZiG currency will not be enough to address underlying issues.

Tinkering with the symptoms while conveniently ignoring the underlying issues cannot lead to a cure. What are the underlying issues?

Well, you do not need a PhD in statecraft to untangle this puzzle. Zimbabwe’s tragedy is the logical outcome of a volatile mix of leadership failure, corruption-induced poverty and authoritarian kleptocracy.

A currency from planet Mars will not cure these maladies.

There are no shortcuts to socio-economic prosperity.

Ultimately, Zimbabwe must craft a comprehensive approach that combines structural economic reforms, good governance practices, democratic reforms and effective monetary policies to support the long-term health of the economy. This is the only way of restoring confidence among citizens and investors. 

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *