Jonathan Moyo gone bonkers
OPINION – The widely circulated article entitled , “ Coalition Government Flirting with failure” published on various online newspapers has shown that Moyo is trying to manipulate facts so as to pass all the blame for the shortcomings of the unity government on the Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai.\r\n
Moyo came out with guns blazing arguing that the payment of the 100 dollar allowances to civil servants in hard currency was a result of Gono and Chinamasa who crafted the monetary policy and budget respectively prior to the consummation of the unity government and thus kudos must go to the 2 gentlemen.
This is the apogee of intellectual dishonesty. Firstly, it is false that Gono and Chinamasa proposed the payment of civil servants allowances in hard currency.
What they however proposed which was vetoed by Minister Biti was the payment of 100 dollar vouchers which were to be exchanged with groceries as if all civil servants dress, travel and pay rates through groceries
It does not need one to be a rocket scientist to realize that had the unity government not been implemented, the voucher system would have collapsed with disastrous consequences.
This is so because the whole voucher system was premised on wrong policy and assumptions
For example, Gono and Chinamasa, like dreamers they are were expecting to generate revenue of 140 million every month starting in February which revenue was going to guarantee the voucher system.
It is now common cause that in February, the national fiscus only managed to generate a paltry 25 million which is not enough to pay the monthly allowances of the bloated civil service.
This shortfall was the stroke that was going to unravel the voucher system with shops refusing to accept worthless paper from a broke government
It is thus the efforts of the unity government in particular Prime Minister Tsvangirai and Finance Minister Biti who managed to raise money from donors such as UNICEF which paid civil servants and in an instant bringing some measure of confidence and a starting point for the unity government
It is clear that Moyo is trying to beat drums of his benefactors like Gono and thinks that he can hoodwink the people of Zimbabwe through forked arguments.
The truth of the matter is that the people of Zimbabwe knows that Gono has never fulfilled any of his grand promises he made since his dramatic appointment as central bank chief
When Gono came into office in 2003, he promised that by the end of his first year in office, he would have arrested inflation to single digit levels and went on to brand inflation his number 1 enemy.
Did Gono succeed?
When his reckless printing of the now dead and buried Zim dollar was creating huge worthless denominations, he embarked on his various Operation Sunrises declaring that the zeros he lobbied will never come back.
Is it true Moyo that the zeroes did not come back?
When the country was facing widespread hunger due to misguided ZANU PF policies that has decimated agriculture, Gono declared the year 2007, “the mother of all farming seasons” Yet can Moyo deny that more than 5.2 million Zimbabweans are surviving on food aid?
Therefore where does Moyo get the confidence that had the unity government not been formed, Gono and Chinamasa‘s voucher policies would have succeeded when they have a history of approaching policy issues with an open mouth and shut mind?
The greatest tragedy of Zimbabwe has never been in policy formulation but in implementation.
Thus we must give kudos to the implementers who made these modest yet insufficient improvements to the people’s lives
Moyo also questions Tsvangirai claiming that his assertion that the unity government has provided a stimulus to the Zimbabwean economy is false. Surely, Moyo exposes his lack of grasp of elementary economics.
For the payment of more than 160 000 civil servants in hard currency though still far inadequate after they were earning nothing for the past year indeed provided a stimulus to the economy.
Moyo must understand that a stimulus is not only synonymous with quantitative easing but with any action that increases aggregate demand in real terms.
To illustrate this in simple terms, the January “salary” of civil servants was around 1 dollar in the parallel market equivalent.
Yet in February, it was increased by 100 times.
This has the simple effect of increasing purchasing power which in turn improves the economy as producers raise their production to meet the spike in demand.
It was because of this hard currency allowance delivered by the Tsvangirai led unity government that after a long time, several civil servants at least managed to have a decent meal from their earnings.
On his claim that the education and health system is not yet in full throttle, Moyo chooses to manipulate the context of Tsvangirai‘s letter to the G20.For the avoidance of doubt, Tsvangirai never claimed that the education and health sectors were now operating at full throttle.
That is why in the first place he was appealing to the G20 to assist Zimbabwe beyond humanitarian aid so that the education and health sectors can be fully revived.
Hence he highlighted the modest efforts the unity government has achieved and the challenges that needed developmental finance.
Highlighting modest changes in education and health sector was a tactic to create confidence that indeed the unity government is trying by all means and can do better with more resources
On the issue of stabilization of prices and inflation, that is indeed the situation on the ground that prices are stabilizing. Moyo argues that all this was because of Gono and Chinamasa.
But the 2 gentlemen have been in government and overseeing the collapse of the economy even when they launched various fancy wars like the so called FOLIWARS launched by Gono which made the Zimbabwean economy the most expensive in US $ terms since last year , a trend that was only reversed by the coming into place of the unity government
The secret to the success of any economic policy, Mr Moyo, is confidence
It is this vital ingredient that was brought to the economy by the unity government.
That is why even businessmen from South Africa led by Patrice Motsepe visited Zimbabwe to scan for investment opportunities.
That is why some Nordic countries like Norway and Denmark has visited Zimbabwe for dialogue.
These actions create confidence which in itself breeds optimism that reduces speculation and thus dampen prices and inflation
Moyo also exposes his big misunderstanding of how economies work by claiming that the major sources of forex in Zimbabwe last year was from Chiadzwa and burning of Zim dollar ignoring remittances from the Diaspora in the process.
This is pathetic. For how does Moyo explain how burning of the Zimbabwe dollar generated forex?
Burning of the Zim dollar was in fact an approach by companies of disposing the Zim dollar they were being forced to charge on goods and services yet it was loosing value everyday.
Therefore the companies, which were being monitored and forced to bank the Zim dollars which they could not withdraw because of the cash crisis, were using those huge transfer rates to dump Zim dollars and not to create forex .
As for the Chiadzwa diamonds, even if the amounts he says were being generated by the syndicates are true, the money was not finding itself into the formal economy in any reasonable quantities.
The greedy politicians, who controlled the diamond trade last year and today, paid some few runners trinkets whilist depositing the bulk of earnings in offshore accounts in the Far East in preparation for shopping sprees.
Therefore, it’s shocking that Moyo could discount the contribution by the people in the Diaspora which is what has kept the country going for the past 10 years
It is thus clear that although the unity government has not yet fulfilled many expectations the people had, people like Prime Minister Tsvangirai can not be rubbished in the manner Moyo does in his opportunistic article.
In fact, if he loved the country as he tries to pretend he does, he must be directing his attacks to Mugabe who has been stalling the change for the better by frustrating the unity government through such actions as supporting destruction of agriculture and criminality under the guise of land reform.
That is the biggest albatross on the unity government’s neck