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All eyes on Zimbabwe Finance Minister Chinamasa today

Having given a moratorium to those who externalised money, Zimbabweans are looking forward to measures Chinamasa will introduce to entice those who are hoarding cash locally to put it back into circulation.

Everyone knows that Zimbabwe has a lot of cash but it is in the people’s hands. Whispers doing the rounds during the military operation clearly showed that people had money in their homes, amounts people could hardly believe.

They will also be looking at how Chinamasa will discipline banks because they are complicit in the disappearance of cash, and this applies to employees of the central bank especially those who once worked with former governor Gideon Gono.

The creation of jobs will be much more difficult until local industry and commerce increase their own capacity and acquire more modern equipment.

But one thing could be in Zimbabwe’s favour. Mnangagwa’s closeness to China and that of his special advisor Christopher Mutsvangwa to Beijing could well play the West.

China’s deputy Foreign Minister Chen Xiadong was in Zimbabwe last week to see Mnangagwa. Yesterday China signed loan deals worth about $153 million.

Observers say this is likely to spur Britain and France to up their game as well. Britain has indicated that as Zimbabwe’s oldest friend, it has a role to play in Zimbabwe’s recovery and dispatched Rory Stewart its Minister of State for Foreign Affairs for Mnangagwa’s inauguration.

Foreign Minister Boris Johnson even ventured that Britain might bail out Zimbabwe by providing funds to settle its arrears to the World Bank and the African Development bank, a move that would open doors to Zimbabwe to access international loans.

For Mnangagwa, one thing is clear though. He has to prove himself. There are too many negative perceptions about him and his administration. He therefore has to deliver.

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