By Darlyn Murambgi
Harare, May 13, 2016 – MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai on Thursday urged Zimbabweans to reject bond notes which government was planning to introduce in two months time through the central bank.
Announcing the introduction of the notes whose value he said would be pegged against that of the United States dollar, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya said the new notes are a stopgap measure to ease current cash shortages which have seen banks limit cash withdrawals.
This however ignited a groundswell of resentment among Zimbabweans who felt this was an attempt by the current government to bring back the much dreaded Zim-dollar via the backdoor.
Business leaders on Wednesday also expressed strong resentment for the new notes.
In a video appeal circulated via Whatsapp, Tsvangirai joined the chorus for the rejection of what he said was the return of the Zimbabwe dollar insisting this was an attempt to rig the economy.
“We have all walked that road before,” Tsvangirai said.
“Only eight years ago, we were all poor trillionaires after a similar ill advised decision.
“Considering that most of us Zimbabweans are now in the informal sector, these bond notes cannot be used where we buy our wares and goods. All new currency has to be backed by economic production and this country at this stage is not ready for a return of the Zim dollar.”
Tsvangirai said the return of the Zim-dollar would bring back economic upheaval experienced before the introduction of the short-lived coalition which restored a semblance of economic stability and introduced the multi-currency system.
“We will return again to the empty shops; we will return again to the chaos and it is clear that this government wants to abuse our hard working civil servants by giving them this bond paper as their salaries,” he said.
“As a country and as a people, we must reject this for the sake of our country and the stability and legacy we must leave for future generations.
“All patriotic Zimbabweans must reject this, people lost their livelihoods, pensioneers lost their life savings and the economy went on a tailspin, we cannot walk that road again.
“We said they can rig the election but they cannot rig the economy, these bond notes are an attempt to rig the economy.
“We are consulting with others in the broader democratic movement; we urge all patriotic Zimbabweans to join us in our national public expressions in provinces against the misgovernance and the huge crisis we face as a nation.”
Tsvangirai was referring to planned demonstrations set for various parts of the country to protest continued poverty, corruption and the failure by the Robert Mugabe led government to address the crisis.
The introduction of the new notes has also been roundly condemned by the country’s opposition parties with Lovemore Madhuku’s NCA calling for protests against the unpopular move.