The Sunday Mail
What a week it was!
The Bishop is happy to announce that he is alive and well after surviving a blizzard of fretish economic commentary from our supposedly elite commenterati on social media, who thought they could deliver a lecture or two on why they believed Government’s decision to introduce the Zimbabwe dollar was fated to fail.
Yes, the return of the Zimbabwe dollar — which must probably rank as the most momentous, audacious and unbelievably gutsy step ever to have been taken by Government in the past decade — left the lily-livered amongst us increasingly skittish.
Most never saw this coming.
It actually came like a thief in the dead of the night.
Even Gucci comrades, who continued to feed off the growing imperfections of the multi-currency regime, were blind-sided.
Like King Lobengula who once gave the anecdote of the chameleon and the fly, Bishop Lazi would similarly ask if you didn’t listen to his recent sermon of how the crocodile catches its prey.
Well, dear reader, all you have to know is that when the croc attacks, it usually depends on both speed and stealth, including an uncanny ability to torpedo towards its prey at a mystically-calibrated depth that doesn’t stir the water.
And whenever you hear the sound of the water break, accompanied by an uproarious splash, it’s usually an unfailing kill.
Well, the uproarious splash of the Zimbabwe dollar is still reverberating to this day.
And to this day, stunned cynics are still caught up in a parallel universe of “analysis paralysis” or “paralysis by analysis”.
As they over analyse and over think, the world has moved.
It is often said “some people make things happen, some people watch things happen and then there are those who wonder, ‘what the hell just happened?”
A generation that doesn’t read the signs is a cursed generation.
For quite some time, ED has been saying a new currency was, and is, on the way, but in an increasingly cynical world, his pronouncements were taken as a bluff.
Proverbs 10:9 tells us that “Whoever walks in integrity, walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.”
It should be apparent by now that ED doesn’t bluff.
Do you still remember that epoch-making November 2017 letter when, after having been dismissed from Government and Zanu-PF, he — like Arnold Schwarzenegger — vowed that he would be back? Kikikiki.
Again you probably thought it was a bluff.
Do you still remember last year when he said elections would be held sooner that we imagined?
Do you still remember last year when he said he would have new, young and fresh faces in Cabinet?
Do you still remember last year in September when he warned that the austerity measures, which were about to begin then, would be painful?
And weren’t you listening when he promised a new currency?
ED does not talk the walk, but he walks the talk.
In fact, you can even take his word to the bank and deposit it as collateral.
Most, if not all, his promises come to pass.
Mthuli’s Mortal Duel
Bishop Lazi believes that those who are still befuddled by Government’s recent move to de-dollarise the economy by introducing a new currency, especially when re-dollarising seemed to be the only perfection option, need to go into ED’s mind to understand his thinking.
Leadership, he often says, is about “taking the people where they ought to be, not where they want to be”.
On January 30, he told a group of journalists in the capital that: “The laws of demand and supply must work. As a leader, I know nobody will be happy with austerity measures because they come with a lot of pain.
“But my job is to lead the country to where it ought to go, not where individuals want. I was and am still aware some of our people will be angry. It’s okay.”
Does it make sense now?
It is similar to what the Holy Book says in 2 Corinthians 8:21, “For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man.”
For Mthuli Ncube, it would have been easier to re-dollarise as this would have arrested inflation instantly, while stabilising the market.
You see, the US dollar is like morphine: it makes you feel high, but the underlying causes of your pain will remain — you will still remain married to your nagging wife and your creditors will still be after you.
So, we would simply have relapsed into the same predicament of a trading economy, where we evolved into a huge cash register for South African companies chasing the dollar.
In short, we would have continued to witness the absurd trend where both cash and jobs are exported to Mzansi.
The other dreaded option was to continue down this painful route in order to industrialise and modernise.
Thankfully, ED is doing what he was elected to do — to make the tough choices.
This is why Mthuli has chosen to continue his epic duel with the Hydra.
In Greek folklore, the Hydra was a nine-headed monster which used to terrorise both people and livestock.
Those who sought to vanquish this seemingly indomitable creature discovered that every time they tried to behead it, two more heads would emerge from the fresh wound.
It was not until the mythical Hercules was given the task to kill it that a formula was finally found to subdue it.
However, in order to kill it, Hercules enlisted the help of his nephew Lolaus.
Each time he beheaded one of the heads, Lolaus would cauterise (burn the area where the head once was) so that no new head would emerge.
Finally, he managed to go after the main head, which he eventually buried under a huge rock.
The creature that Mthuli has been fighting demonstrably had many heads — corruption, arbitrage, sabotage and indiscipline.
And since October last year, when the currency reforms began, he has been cutting one head at a time and cauterising the wounds.
All that is now left is going after the main head of the beast.
Forget the economic commentary from that UZ law alumni disguised as the MDC who think they know better. Apparently they don’t.
And the feeble attempt by Tapiwa Mashakada — hanzi MDC’s policy czar. Kikikii — to discredit the new monetary regime was as laughable as it was amateurish.
He continued to blubber about what he called the “right fundamentals” needed to anchor a new currency.
That is pure nonsense.
Does he even know that Zimbabwe’s exports, at US$4 billion last year, dwarf the US$996 million realised by Rwanda over the same period?
Unfortunately, there is no one to fact-check these pseudo intellectuals who think that scholarship ends with hoisting an academic certificate aloft and nailing it to the wall.
Well, it is more than that. It is about continued research and empiricism.
Bishop Lazi feels that arguments need to be scientific and credible enough to withstand academic enquiry.
If you watch Bloomberg TV, you would know what I am talking about.
Economic policy making and commentary must necessarily be hinged on data sets which can he readily interpreted to gauge the health of the economy.
Unfortunately, the bulk of our journos today, like Bishop Lazi, are arithmophobic and functionally illiterate when it comes to finance and numbers.
Beyond that linguistic and literary greenery is a parched mathematical desert.
It becomes a disaster when you have a Professor who majored in mathematical finance as the Treasury chief.
This is why interpretation of the new monetary measures by some journos who are supposed to know better has been embarrassingly inaccurate.
But ED will march on unfazed.
If you ask the Bishop what will distinguish ED’s Presidency, he will tell you that it is his fierce decisiveness, keen pragmatism and a commendable ability to swiftly change and adjust as the situation dictates.
You see, the secret to getting things done is to get things done.
Recently, I told you about an interesting character who was once a key staffer in Trump’s White House, Steve Bannon.
For Trump, he was an asset because he got things done, albeit chaotically.
In the book “Fire and Fury”, author Michael Wolf tells us that: “Just doing things became a Bannon principle, the sweeping antidote to bureaucratic and establishment ennui and resistance. It was the chaos of doing things that actually got things done.”
Over the next few weeks, keep an eye on the tumult in the market over pricing as the market adjusts to reasonable pricing shorn of the pressures of chasing after the US dollar.
In Mthuli’s lingo that would probably be something similar to stochastic volatility. Kikiki.