PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa’s bold declarations that the currency exchange market operating in dark alleys driving Zimbabweans into penury is a national security issue could not have come at any better time.
We are heartened that Mnangagwa has finally broken his silence on an emotive issue that has the potential to dent the little goodwill the country still has.
It is clear that this issue could define the future of this country and, hence, requires decisive leadership now more than ever before. It is regrettable that authorities under former President Robert Mugabe left this “dark” trade to thrive.
Although Mnangagwa was part of the Mugabe regime, but has promised to “do things differently” and dare we say, words do not amount to action.
The President must personally bite the proverbial bullet and act. Is it not astounding that with the kind of intelligence in our security apparatus, it looks like authorities have no clue as to who is behind this chaos in our economy?
It will not be remiss to say all this chaos is being engineered by the President’s Office or security clusters, the ruling elite, top bureaucrats and their acolytes; otherwise how else is this to be explained to the majority of Zimbabweans, who are bearing the brunt of the result of the currency exchange chaos.
Someone, somewhere has to know. These illicit dealings take place right under the noses of the police, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s Financial Intelligence Unit and the country’s State security apparatuses, and all institutions mandated with keeping our financial services sector as clean as possible.
It would appear to us that there are very senior people in these institutions heavily involved and benefiting from the illegal foreign exchange market. If, indeed, the President has not been briefed and does not have any names on his desk, then a clean-up of these institutions is warranted yesterday and not tomorrow.
Indeed, Mnangagwa has promised he wants to build a clean, corruption-free and open society that benefits all who live in it. Therefore, it is important to state that Zimbabweans deserve to know who is playing “house” with their lives.
Mnangagwa says this issue deserves a bold response because it speaks to the very core of who we are and the kind of society we would want to be going forward.
Our place at the table of progressive nations that we seek to claim after years in the wilderness rests on the actions we take on issues like this one.
The RBZ must come clean, our commercial banks must wash their hands in the open, the police and all other units mandated with maintaining a healthy, financial environment need a lot of soul-searching.
A lack or delayed action by Mnangagwa in the coming hours and days will leave us with more questions than answers. It would not be remiss for ordinary Zimbabweans to point fingers at Mnangagwa and those around him for the meltdown that almost obliterated our nation last week.
We must, by all means necessary, avoid a recurrence of this, but not by sweeping this under the carpet. Someone must publicly pay for this. For Mnangagwa, it is important that he does this, given the overplayed hand that he lacks the confidence of the citizenry.
So our plea to the President is to stop talking, but act. Zimbabweans want answers, and, Mr President, bold declarations will count for nothing if they are not followed by concrete action that speaks to the reality of our situation.