First it was Jealous Mawarire, who frogmarched the nation into the 2013 general election unprepared.
This was followed by Oliver Mandipaka’s motion that led to the recall of the 21 MPs and Senators from the MDC-T Renewal Team.
NewsDay (02/05/2015) carried an article, “MPs seek to compel government to introduce new currency”.
Ironically, the two MPs behind the so-called new currency agitation are Makhosini Hlongwane and Oliver Mandipaka.
In short, we are back to the Zimbabwe dollar. Bond coins were an instrument to test the electorate’s amenability to the return of the local currency. The said proponent’s argument for the Zim dollar return are:
lConcern over the absence of Zimbabwe’s own currency, which makes economic growth and protection of domestic industry difficult.
Job losses are attributable to the strength of the United States Dollar (USD) against trading partners’ currencies
lDisturbance over high cost of doing business in Zimbabwe, with particular reference to cost of production resulting from the strong USD.
In addition, the inability to control and direct monetary policy in the absence of own currency.
lThe Executive is implored to consider bringing a currency that will protect domestic industry as well as stimulating growth of the economy and generating demand.
These measures, it is argued will assist in controlling and directing the monetary policy in enhancing exports and Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
Before unpacking the above three pronged argument, it would be prudent to know reasons that led to the abandonment of the local currency.
In short, the Zim dollar had become unpalatable as a medium of exchange. In the circumstances why then would anyone agitate for the return of the Zim dollar.
Some of the intriguing questions will be answered in the course of unpacking Makhosini Hlongwane’s proposed motion, as seconded by Mandipaka.
The first is a former Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation news presenter who was livid with State propaganda then, whilst Mandipaka is the former Zimbabwe Republic Police spokesperson.
Why the obsession about the local currency? Reasons are ominous, foreign currency is in short supply, as such cannot satisfy the insatiable consumption syndrome on the part of government.
Secondly, the clock is fast ticking towards 2018 elections.
Funding for the pending elections is critical.
The advantage with the local currency, is that it can be printed to the sum the State wants and its distribution can be controlled and accordingly directed.
The argument that the USD makes trading with partners unprofitable is not quite correct.
The two MPs go on to highlight the high cost of doing business in Zimbabwe with particular mention of cost of production.
Put differently, the argument is for labour market liberalisation and productivity linked salaries and wages.
The mask on controlling and directing events is removed when it is argued that the local currency will enable the controlling and directing of the monetary policy.
In conclusion, the motion seeks to motivate the Executive into introducing the local currency as a means of protecting domestic industry, at the same time stimulating growth and local demand.
Elementary economics instructs that a medium of exchange must first and foremost qualify as a legal tender and be acceptable to stakeholders.
With the comfortable majority that Zanu PF commands in Parliament the motion is a concluded deal.
That’s an area where Zimbabwe Opposition falls short.
A strategist must be sealed, meaning he/she must be unpredictable in as far as the next move to be taken is concerned.
Didymus Mutasa recently described his erstwhile former comrade in arms as excelling in covering his foot marks.
This is indeed an immaculate strategy used by Zanu PF.
Makhosini Hlongwane, Oliver Mandipaka and Jealous Mawarire are simply executing party strategy. Unbelievably, MDC-T willingly donated critical Parliamentary seats at such a critical moment.
Come 2018, all motions and constitutional amendments favouring Zanu PF would have been pushed through Parliament.
Poor opposition will be left leaking wounds of being outwitted.
lMoses Tsimukeni Mahlangu is the general-secretary for Zimbabwe Urban Councils Workers’ Union.
He is a labour consultant and arbitrator. Feedback: Email: email@example.com Cell: 0775 547 120 or 0712 864 275