It has been a strange week. First, we learnt that the president of Zimbabwe had ordered banks to stop lending money. Then the RBZ actually went and wrote a letter that put the president’s command into action. Never before have banks been ordered to stop giving orders by decree. Now the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is threatening to go a step further. The central bank has said that it reserves the right to name and shame those who have borrowed large amounts in recent times. Below is the bank’s actual statement:
In the wake of manipu;lation of the exhcnage rate by some borrowers of large amounts to the detriment of consumers, the Bakn reserves the right to publish the names of significant borrowers across the banking sector in the public interest.The RBZ’s full statement.
Now would that even be legal? It is doubtful but in this country politics and bravado trump good sense and the law. It wouldn’t be surprising if the RBZ went ahead and did just that but it remains doubtful that they would actually do that. Then again who would have thought that the government of Zimbabwe would suffocate banks and micro finances by ordering them to offer loans?
A game of bigwigs
The thing though is that this is all a game between bigwigs. The ordinary Zimbabwean barely earns enough to be able to “sabotage” the economy. The RBZ and the president would rather shut down the economy than confront their fellow powerful and well-connected bigwigs. The trick is to squeeze them by squeezing everyone. These people however are above the law. They have been playing this game for decades. There was once an operation Sunrise back in the day and these people escaped unscathed while ordinary folk lost their money.