Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. So, what’s my point here? The point is we can’t be conned twice the same way in 10 years and blame the conmen. It won’t be amnesia but sheer idiocy.
Look around! Does everything that’s happening in Zimbabwe look familiar? It should because it’s happening all over again.
If you have not realized, the very loud signs of the pre-2008 period are illuminating so brightly in the dark, and we really have to be blind not to see them.
It’s happening all over again, the bank queues, cash shortages, some filling station queues, some goods fading out of the shelves in the supermarkets, a rampant parallel market and so forth.
The tale-tell signs are all over the place. The frightening part is that it’s happening at a time when we don’t even have our own currency.
Ignore the clutter as well as sideshows and dig deeper, you start seeing the frightening reality.
Let’s look at a typical example: Econet Wireless Limited, a Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) listed company declared a 0.386 cents dividend per share amounting to $10 million for the first quarter ended 31 May 2017.
To my knowledge, this is the first time the company has declared a quarterly dividend since the death of the Zimbabwe dollar. The question is – how does this listed company, which was clamoring for tariff increases just a few months ago afford such a quarterly dividend?
Add to that the reality that quarterly dividends are very rare in Zimbabwe.
If you peel the veil and even dig deeper, you will discover that early last year, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe collected daily revenues of around $2 million dollars a day.
Today, the figure has grown three to five-fold to between $6 million to $9 million a day.
How is this possible when in January, it earned the wrath of Zimbabweans after it tried to effect a tariff increase?
The answer is partly yes.
Continued next page