PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s money printing policies before the Zimbabwe dollar went bust in 2009 have been likened to belligerent United States Republican presidential hopeful, Donald Trump’s suggestion that the world’s biggest economy could print its way out of debt.
Trump’s main rival, Democratic Party’s presumptive nominee, Hillary Clinton, in her first economic speech delivered in Columbus, Ohio, on Tuesday, tore into the Republican candidate’s policy prescriptions and described him as a “loose cannon and danger to the US”.
“Trump also says we can just print more money to pay our debts down. We know what happened with countries that tried that in the past like Germany in the 1920s or Zimbabwe in the 1990s, it drove inflation through the roof and crippled their economies,” Clinton said.
“The US dollar is the safest currency on the planet, why would he want to mess with that?”
Academic and political analyst, Ibbo Mandaza said: “It’s a stricture of massive proportions that should leave us ashamed. It speaks loud about the casino economy”.
Former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono presided over the rampant printing of the country’s currency and called the traumatic period The Casino Economy, a book he later wrote.
Opposition parties said Clinton’s comparison of Trump and Mugabe’s policies was spot-on.
Mugabe’s spokesperson George Charamba and Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo were not available for comment.
At the height of the hyper-inflationary era, Mugabe’s government resorted to printing currency to fund expenditure, but it continued to tumble in value until the market rejected it, forcing authorities to accept the US dollar as legal tender.