Monetary authorities go Biblical

Africa Moyo —
MONETARY and fiscal authorities have turned to the Bible to appease citizens who are anxiously “praying” for the economy to rebound.

Previous Finance ministers have repeatedly quoted Bible verses during budget presentations.

In 2006, former Finance Minister Dr Herbert Murerwa concluded his budget speech by quoting Jeremiah 29 verse 11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, thoughts of peace not of evil but to give a future and a hope (NKJV).”

In his last budget in 2007, Dr Murerwa finished his presentation with another quote from 2 Corinthians 4 verses 16 and 17. The verses read: “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor Dr John Mangudya, a devout member of the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe, has also never missed an opportunity to quote Bible verses to support his ideas.

On two occasions attended by this reporter where Dr Mangudya was the guest speaker, he used Bible verses to preach hope to citizens.

During an address in Zvishavane late last year, he accused Zimbabweans of being “full of negativity, even when satisfied”.

He said, under such circumstances, “faith would be little and sight says it’s difficult”.

On being quizzed if bond notes were not going to cause inflation as was the case in 2008, Dr Mangudya summoned Bible verses, Isaiah 43:18-19.

“Are you Christians? If you look at Isaiah 43:18-19, those verses say, ‘forget the former things, do not dwell on the past. See we are doing new things, we are making our way in the wilderness and making streams in the wetland.

“It’s not me saying that, the Bible is there, read it. That is what we should do as Zimbabweans. We have to do things differently,” said Dr Mangudya, adding that there was no need for people to be sceptical about bond notes as they were designed to preserve the value of money so that it is not externalised.

Dr Mangudya bet his job on the success or failure of the surrogate currency. He pledged to take full responsibility for the impact of bond notes, and said he wouldn’t apportion blame on others since they were his baby.

At that point, bond notes were being violently opposed by many people across the country. The bond notes hit circulation on November 28 last year and depositors are now jostling to withdraw them.

As it stands, demand is outstripping supply by a distance. The Governor has also often used Galatians 6:9 to encourage Zimbabweans to be hopeful.

The verse says, “Let’s not lose heart in doing good, because in due time we will reap.”

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