By John Chimunhu|
Now Daily Analysis|
The assertion by Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya that there should be no government salary increases in 2015 came as a shock to many long-suffering civil servants. To make matters worse, Mangudya directed the private sector to also freeze wages, including those that can afford to pay more. But for Mangudya to then suggest that traders lower prices for no reason other than that the bankrupt Robert Mugabe dictatorship can no longer pay its bloated workforce is the height of madness. Warped logic at its best. We have gone the route of salary freezes and price controls under the disgraced ex-governor Gideon Gono and it just does not work. What we will get because of Mangudya’s reckless statement is labour unrest, flight of skills and shortages of goods in the shops, which will resurface on the black market at their true cost.
Mangudya’s Zanu PF rally speech on Wednesday, disguised as a monetary policy statement, must be rejected with the contempt it deserves. This is the kind of bush economics that we have come to expect from Mangudya, who boasts of a fake doctorate in economics from the bogus, non-existent so-called ‘Washington university’ run by Nigerian conmen. This is the same gang that sold Gono his fake PhD. The bottom line is that Mangudya is not qualified to run the central bank and the sooner he is removed the better for the economy. Since taking over at the RBZ in 2014, Mangudya has not inspired confidence. Recently he blew up $50 million minting worthless bond coins which nobody wants to use. Obviously, he did not consult the market before wasting such a huge amount of borrowed money. Mangudya is clueless about how to rescue an ailing economy on the brink such as ours. He is gutless and can not tell his boss Mugabe to stop looting the treasury and mismanaging the economy through corruption and nepotism, which are the root causes of the present malaise. In the last 18 months, Mugabe blew up $500 million on worthless foreign travel and luxury vehicles for himself and his unproductive hangers on.
Capping salaries and controlling prices by mere heavy-handed declarations will never make the life of the ordinary Zimbabwean better. You would need social mobilization and broad-based consultation and agreement with workers and the private sector to make it work. Unfortunately, such agreement will not materialize under the current environment. There is need for trust, where it is clearly spelt out to the workers and business what they stand to lose from the sacrifices they are being asked to make. The period of austerity must be brief, properly managed and it must be clearly spelt out how the long-term benefits will be shared among the population. But this intransigent and corrupt regime has no intention of sharing the benefits with the povo. Whatever benefits accrue from the peoples’ suffering will be siphoned off to Singapore for the dictator to buy his wife Grace Mugabe expensive Gucci shoes and choice champagne for his alcoholic kids.
The time has come for John Mangudya to admit failure and step down voluntarily, or be ready to go down in disgrace like Gono.
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