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Bond note controversy; another dent on national security

By Tapiwa Kapurura

The Zimbabwe bond note issue has now moved from Orange to Red. Critics have poured out their sentiments. Release dates keep moving. The President acted outside the Constitution and the imposed 180 day SI was rushed, unilateral and unnecessary. The bond note has been given a misleading name. It’s not supposed to be a bond. There will be more burdens than benefits on our economy. Analysts are talking.

Tapiwa Kapurura
Tapiwa Kapurura

Government got ill advice and got big headed. It is a sea of issues and the list is endless as systems continue to crumble. Stepping back from the legal concerns, once Finance Minister Chinamasa hinted this week that some hustlers had started printing fake bond notes on the street, ahead of official release dates, my mind dashed to national security. The CIO would have to act fast on the forgery. That is if they cared about Zimbabwe as a country and not ZanuPF as a party.

At a time when Zimbabwe is going down with corruption and poverty, I thought the CIO could find better pastime by going after the suspects of bond note forgery. Normally the CIO gets busy stalking, abducting, binding, torturing or killing ZanuPF opponents. This is not the time for sadistic errands when the nation is economically wilting by the hour. We all love comfort and good things.

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In my opinion CIO hardly realizes that national security goes beyond opposition politics. The economy, just like our wildlife, needs to be defended and secured. As an example, in America the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution reigns supreme as part of securing critical public assets and general business trends. The MDC, foreign invaders and terrorism should not be the full circle of CIO operations. Without a booming economy  and a comfortable citizenry, national security remains compromised

Once Chinamasa mentioned about possible forgery, investigations should have been ramped up without further ado. By now we could be reading about possible suspects having been nabbed. How on earth could Siyaso hustlers print money?

Many even wondered how the forgery suspects emerged with the machinery, let alone, the unscrupulous idea before even seeing the color of the bond note. It could either have been an act of sabotage to the bond  note release or an RBZ inside job through hands of corruption.

Zimbabwe is going through a lot at the moment. Based on social media comments, many believe the bond note was the last act of desperation in trying to rescue a sinking Zimbabwe. Majority are not even ready to welcome cheap or fake money after losing the precious US dollar.

A number of legal steps and banking ethos were missed prior to the official decision to bring the bond note. Finally economists are arguing that the bond note resembles two methods of payment in one; a contradiction to the laws of banking and currency trading. It’s a lot being discussed in business circles but the truth is that Zimbabwe is in a crisis that could have been averted.

There was considerable potential on economic growth in Zimbabwe after diamond discoveries. Before that our people got land. Production in agriculture  was expected. Sadly, corruption ate everything including our currency reserves. Now we have no middle class as the gap between the poor and the rich is widening by the hour.

Mugabe’s big wig fraudsters in cabinet even use social media to describe a stolen million US dollars as peanuts, a statement that even the wealthiest or wisest American or Chinese economist would never say on such a decent amount.

An anonymous author once wrote that experience is the comb handed to you after losing all your hair. This is the situation we are in. The only message we get now is to be optimistic and patriotic as we wait for rains. But we need straight answers. How did we get here?

I must conclude by qouting Tawanda Nyambirai, a respectable lawyer and businessman who has written that regarding bond notes, the arrogant must be humbled as the ignorant must be educated. It’s a long trip home.

Despite age and advice, President Mugabe has so much to learn and understand about economics. His dream on the indigenization policy required much thought and regulatory compliance measures in place before the economy fell off the wagon. The threshold was to cut out corruption using practical and examplary action.

Empty words didn’t mean anything. The bond note issue could have been avoided if he had started as a no-nonsense trooper on pragmatic economic policies hinged on zero tolerance on corruption. Now this is what we get as we brace up for tough times ahead.

Tapiwa Kapurura is a lawyer. He writes in a personal capacity. You can follow him on twitter @TapiwaKapurura.