By Professor Sheunesu Mpepereki
WE continue to explore the various aspects of Zimbabwe’s US dollar craze.
Finally the authorities, who until recently seemed to be frozen as evidenced by their inaction, are defrosting and beginning to look at ways to address the dollar craze!
Or so we are made to believe!
You suspect someone knew all along that there were these loopholes!
That the currency was being manipulated to cause financial chaos as part of the regime change agenda?
Why did we not act timely?
A case of sleeping on duty or sleeping with the enemy?
Whose interests are we safeguarding?
These hard questions must be addressed.
When the monetary authorities, earlier in the year, reported that about 200 people owned over 50 percent of all the money in Zimbabwe, many Zimbabweans were shocked!
They came to realise that the population was under the mercy of a few individuals who could, and did, manipulate the currencies to maximise their accumulations!
How different is this from our colonial situation when a few thousand whites owned virtually everything while millions of Africans wallowed in poverty!
You could say not much has changed in 40 years.
Really sobering reality!
We have a minority economic interest regime in place.
The political regime, the people’s government, appears to be hopelessly ‘outgunned’, as it were, by the economic money regime consisting of a few individuals and some large corporates manipulating our local currency while everyone else sits fiddling uncomfortably but too afraid to act or even speak.
And, meantime, a significant segment of our own professionals have joined the looting committee!
Hopefully the new dispensation and functionaries of the first government of the Second Republic will gather enough courage and momentum to reverse the catastrophic rush to acquire the US dollar at all costs!
The latter is in itself a sellout of the people’s struggle for economic emancipation!
Hard work should be rewarded but ordinary hardworking Zimbabweans must be forgiven for doubting that tenet.
How did so few individuals and institutions accumulate so much wealth? Was this through hard honest work while the rest of us sat by languishing in poverty.
Hard honest work, my foot!
We know it is part of the colonial legacy.
Monopoly interests rule the roost!
The minerals, the cattle and the crops grown on our fertile soils; all that wealth still concentrated in the hands of a few.
The cattle that the Meikles brothers looted from the people of Manicaland just over a century ago still move in the form of various properties, including what was at one time ranked as one of the top 10 hotels in the world.
And the local blacks have joined in the loot through corrupt accumulation of wealth by stealing from employers such as parastatals and private organisations — currency instability!
This is planned sabotage with collusion of those who should know better, those we thought were fighting in our corner!
How mistaken the people have been that their children would go into public offices and work for the public good!
Our children have joined the minority interests and are subverting the majority interest. And the main symptom — the US dollar craze!
Zimbabweans have come up against the ugly face of criminal exploitation of the poor by the rich, extending their long suffering under the colonial regimes!
Corruption is the extension of the exploitation of Zimbabweans by the rich, the well-connected and downright gangster elements and crooks masquerading as business persons and fraudulently acquiring expensive properties and assets that cannot be matched to any business or employment they have ever undertaken.
New anti-corruption laws will hopefully address some of these challenges!
But right now, the dollar craze rules the roost!
During the French Revolution, the proletariat, the ordinary people, overthrew the monarchy and the rich privileged classes and guillotined the rulers and nobility.
They had had enough!
Our Chimurenga wars have been about rejecting domination and exploitation by a privileged minority which, by historical coincidence, was white.
Today we have blacks as part of the corrupt exploitative criminal element! The first Chimurenga, from about 1670 to 1695, drove out the Portuguese invaders and severely punished the local Africans who sold out and collaborated with the enemy.
History has a way of repeating itself.
Already the people are rejecting those who have flown to Western capitals to invite sanctions against Murenga’s children.
Remember: ‘My bones shall rise again.’
The dollar craze is a symptom of resource theft and criminal accumulation by a privileged few.
Sanctions have created the environment where greed and avarice have bred a phenomenal culture of exploitation of the local population; yesterday by white colonisers, today by unpatriotic sell-out Zimbabweans bent on enriching themselves on the misery of ordinary law-abiding people.
They are accumulating US dollars left and right.
They are flaunting their wealth and the power of the US dollar with reckless abandon so much so that even Mbuya vaMuchigere now believes she can also sell her termites (majuru) and accumulate US dollars which she can also put under her pillow just like the large wholesalers who reject dirty money and are never seen in a bank.
Even if the RBZ prints billions, they are quickly snapped up and stored in metal trunks in private home vaults.
So the authorities knew all along the loopholes in the legal provisions for safeguarding our currency. Long suffering Zimbabweans deserve better service from the relevant monetary authorities.
The interests of the majority Zimbabweans must be safeguarded at all costs!
The interests of 200 individuals and entities owning more that 50 percent of Zimbabwe’s wealth cannot be equated to those of an entire nation. The authorities must take decisive action.
Zimbabweans must never forget that we are our own liberators!
The struggle for economic emancipation continues!