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BACOSSI, ASPEF, PLARP: Refresher on quasi-fiscal activities during Gideon Gono`s RBZ Reign of Terror

“Quasi-fiscal” interventions by central banks might be something that came in vogue, post the 2008 global financial crisis, with both the US Fed`s and the European Central Bank`s quantitative easing programs – code for printing money.  At its peak, the US Fed in particular was pumping $85 billion a month into the US economy. For Zimbabwe however, quasi-fiscal activities are something that we are all too familiar with, largely thanks to one Gideon Gono.
“Gee-Gee” as he is otherwise known made sure that the mention of his name would inevitably be followed by the phrase “quasi-fiscal.” He financed the purchase of cars, generators, ploughs and even scotch carts, through a broad range of quasi-fiscal activities. In fact, Gono created FISCORP (Pvt) Ltd, an RBZ subsidiary to oversee the central bank`s quasi-fiscal activities. The man clearly wasn`t mucking around!
These quasi-fiscal activities drew the ire of most economic watchers, so much so, the IMF`s Article IV consulting mission in 2005 s…
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Currency shortages: The only thing we learn from Zimbabwe`s history is that Zimbabwe learns nothing from its history.

“The only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history.” Perhaps nowhere else in the world is this statement by Friedrech Hegel more apt today than Zimbabwe, where judging by current events, not only has the proverbial wheel fallen off, but so too has the axle and the suspension. “It`s is 2008 all over again,” is the common catchphrase of late, what with, winding queues for fuel becoming common, a pyrrhic bull-run on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange fueled by absolutely nothing but fear and uncertainty, and an unhinged parallel market for foreign currency among other things.
Heck, phrases such as “profiteering”; “illegal price-hikes;” and “unscrupulous retailers” are becoming trendy again with the state-owned media. Zimbabwe has been here before, and with the memories of the dark hyper-inflationary period still fresh in the minds of many, it seems Zimbabwe has repeated past mistakes, and is staring down the barrel.
Before the much storied 2008 meltdown however, there wa…

Challenging our prejudices: Can anything good ever come from Zimbabwe`s government?

The natural temptation when one thinks of Zimbabwe is to side with the common narratives that have been advanced in detailing the country`s fall from grace. A terminal free-fall that has seen economic growth stagnate even at a time when regional peers have been surging full steam ahead. Not only that, unemployment has shot up, infrastructure growth has been stunted, there have been massive levels of brain drain, and the economy is a pale, unimpressive shadow of what it once was - the “Jewel of Africa.” On the political front, developments have not been inspired confidence at all, from both those in power as well as those aspiring to hold power.
One can almost justify the cynicism most watchers of the Southern African country have developed over the years. In turn, their opinions shape the attitudes and outlook of everyday people who depend on these “educated opinions”. Given the foregoing, can one trust the opinions of the many “thought-leaders”, analysts and influential voices shapi…

2016, What a Year: Bond Notes, Missing $15 bln and So on

2016, was always going to be a tough year. The seeds had been sown years prior, with the economy manifestly displaying signs of distress. Inflationary data was negative coming off 2015, and tightening lending by banks all but pointed to a severely weakening liquidity situation that had largely remained restricted to business circles, and big-shot private investors. As the year wore on however, this crisis eventually blew-up and started affecting the individual Zimbabwean at a very micro level, where it hurts the most.
Civil Service Bonuses
With some commendable level of foresight, finance minister Patrick Chinamasa had announced early in 2015 that it was government`s considered view that bonus payments for civil servants was a luxury it could no longer sustain, and hence bonuses were to be scrapped. However, at an Independence Day speech just a few weeks later, President Mugabe disowned Chinamasa`s pronouncements and took a populist stance, promising that government would continue to pa…

Zanu PF firmly holds the keys to Zimbabwe`s economic freedom. But first things first, the comrades gotta eat.

That Zimbabwe`s current state, economic or otherwise is directly linked to the state of affairs at the political top goes without saying. President Mugabe`s government has presided over Zimbabwe`s declining economic fortunes, and that is just the fact. Zanu PF sympathisers will lay the blame squarely on sanctions imposed by the western bloc of countries at the turn of the new millennium. On the other hand, backers of the opposition will point to misrule, corruption and lack of clear strategic policy direction as being the root causes of the country`s.
What is clear however, regardless of one`s personal political persuasion is that, how Zimbabwe`s economy is going to turn out in the coming years, is down to how Zanu PF will handle its internal party politics. It would be utterly na├»ve, to think that the economy will be top of mind for policy makers read (Zanu PF brains trust) before their personal interests are cemented in the ongoing party power struggles. This unfortunately is the cur…

Could the DRC be Africa`s richest country by 2035?

The DRC has grown at an average of 7.7% over the last five years, ahead of the sub-Saharan Africa benchmark and is forecast to grow by at least 8% this year according to the AfDB, making it one of the top rising economies in the world.

The good Africa stories keep coming, battling against “old” Africa with its civil wars and people threatened with famine.Over the next 20 years, some estimates project that Africa will have at least two billion people. Of these, 1.2-billion people will be living in urban cities, and 300-million of that urban population potentially earning $20 a day. If these statistics become reality, Africa could be a $2-trillion market annually. 
This paints a picture of a continent whose economic activity is on the rise. Six of the world’s 10 fastest growing economies of the last decade have been in Africa, hence the “Africa rising” catchphrase that has dominated economic reporting and discussion about the continent.  
While the economies of countries like Rwanda, Kenya…

3 key entrepreneurial lessons from Nigel Chanakira

It's a Thursday night, and despite the dipping temperatures of this July night, the room is packed and one can almost sense the optimism and excitement in the atmosphere. The event is “Pitch Night Thursdays,” and is organised by a local company that invests in good business ideas.
Entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas; then the floor is opened up for questions, suggestions and any other contributions to help accelerate the business ideas.  NeedIess to say, some of the ideas being discussed here are epic!
The immediate feeling one gets from these pitches is how eager Zimbabwe’s young people are to make things happen.  Yes the current economic climate makes Zimbabwe a less than ideal environment for entrepreneurs, with most if not all economic indicators pointing to a severely wakened economy. To say that things have been tough would be a massive understatement of.  And it is Zimbabwe's millennial generation- the country`s so called 'lost generation' that has been dealt…