By Daniel Chigundu
People’s Democratic Party (PDP) says the gazetting of Statutory Instrument 133 of 2016 (SI133) by President Robert Mugabe is nothing short of a violation of the country’s constitution.
SI 133 is meant to ease the passage for the introduction of Bond Notes whose legality has been questioned in many circles of the economy and is also being challenged in the courts of law by Zimbabwe People First president Joice Mujuru.
The issue of Bond notes is very topical in Zimbabwe owing to a general skepticism over their effects to the greater economy, and this has resulted in panic withdrawals from banks as people opt to keep their money at home.
In a statement PDP spokesman Jacob Mafume said his party was concerned and outraged by the madness and total disregard of the law and basic principles of economics by President Mugabe.
“The use of the Presidential powers temporary measures act in passing SI133 of 2016 is dangerous and a violation of the constitution. The constitution provides for separation of powers among the executive, the judiciary and the legislature.
“The legislature is the estate charged with promulgating laws. Thus the President in his individual capacity has no power to make laws and let alone amend a law duly enacted by parliament.
“However, the presidential declaration confirms the fact that the bond note is money with an exchange rate of 1:1 with the US dollar. Now, any currency must be backed by reserves and so the Zimbabwean government is creating fiction which fiction is creating liabilities which are not backed by reserves,” he said.
Bond Notes are being introduced into the economy as five percent bonus to encourage exports in the country and according to RBZ about US$75 million worth of Bond Notes will have been released into the economy by December 31, 2016.
In an effort to allay the public’s fear, RBZ governor Dr. John Mangudya has used every platform he has had in the last two months to try and explain the rationale behind the introduction of the notes and how they are different from the discarded Zimdollar.
The PDP spokesman however believes that government has used the SI 133 to bring back the Zimdollar through the back door; a development which he says has set the country on a financial Armageddon.
“It is apparent that by taking this path Mugabe and his cronies are taking us down again back to the dark period of 2008 where the twin evils of hyper inflation and shortages of basic commodities haunted people daily.
“Indeed the bond note is the Zimbabwean dollar that has simply returned with its full wrath. Once gain the black market will thrive, multiple exchange rates will be introduced in the streets as people trade in the US dollar.
“The few companies which were operating and banks will collapse amid unconstitutional compulsory acquisition of their assets via the bond note route. Already the market is reacting and shortages have started with fuel being the first commodity to go scarce on the market.
In short, Mugabe and his minions have set in motion a financial Armageddon which will destroy whatever has been left of people’s livelihoods and the economy. It is indeed proof of Mugabe’s ruthless reign in Zimbabwe,” Mafume said.