Lies, lies and more damned lies

IMG_1039It beggars belief. Our friend Botswana was going to lend us $600 million, we were told in the state media. ( The equivalent in height in $100 bills of 600 of these chairs.)

“That is totally untrue,’’ Botswana President Masisi told reporters once he arrived home in Gaborone from a visit to Harare. What he did offer was $100 million (100 chairs) credit from private banks only to Botswana companies to do business in Zimbabwe.

He said; “We are not giving them a single loan.The only thing we gave them were medical supplies and supplementary feeding materials made in Botswana worth 2.1 million pula.” ($197,600 – one fifth of one chair)

The state media has done nothing noticeable to correct this ‘fake news.’  Back in the day, it was a cardinal sin not to clarify errors even if it meant a huge loss of face, something the local ‘influencers’ of today won’t countenance. Sanctions are to blame for our woes but they don’t stop our leaders’ profligate spending on imported cars and luxuries the state media makes no secret about but skims over the truth that this is occurs at a time of dire shortages of basic medical supplies, essentials and educational materials.

‘Guvment’  just hired Washington lobby group Ballard to wine and dine the influencers on Capitol Hill for a fee of $500,000 a year (half a chair).   How James ‘Jamie’ Rubin, sometime roving journalist, diplomat, Bill Clinton adviser and husband of the great  Christiane Amanpour, will persuade the Americans that meaningful political and democratic reforms are being implemented remains to be seen.

Well, with current shortages of commodities and soaring prices, you may be tempted to use newspaper as toilet tissue. But as the  old saying goes, you can’t use The Herald because there’s enough kak in it already.

As for prices, we have been served another bucketful of ordure. In its pure definition, the RTGS dollar isn’t a dollar at all IMG_1068but, strictly speaking, a transaction at the floating market rate for each unit of transaction to the US dollar. (There is no such thing as an RTGS dollar note that artists have been having such fun with. The one below depicts the man a prophet claimed to have been resurrected, sitting up in his coffin.) 

Central bank governor Mr Mangudya says an RTGS transaction should have a peg at around 2.5-US$1 for the time being. Maybe that is what he, ‘guvment’  and banks say and if given out at that rate, beneficiaries, i.e. already moneyed chefs, will trade it for the current business and retail rate of 4-1 and rising.  Finance minister Mr Ncube says indigenisation is being completely abolished to attract investors. What still isn’t clear to investors is how their money will be safe in the medium and long term in a country that has a track record of broken promises.

The other day the Nostro US dollar account was referred to as Nostril account. Whichever way you look at it, we will still, with bank charges and all, be paying through the nose!

IMG_1067RTGS transaction accounts have already depleted in real value and purchasing power by 60 percent. The City of Harare says it hasn’t raise the price of parking in the central business district but merely reduced the time from 60 minutes to 30 minutes for the same amount. Double speak at its best.

CBZ bank is advertising the advantages of saving. “Life comes full circle when you save.” Thats about right. Back to zero or very little of what you started out with. And Nedbank says join them and “See money differently.” That’s about right too.




  1. GEORGE FLEET on March 13, 2019 at 9:57 am


    • Angus Shaw on April 3, 2019 at 12:18 pm

      Thanks, George. Best wishes

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