At a recent press conference, the Deputy Minister for Finance and Economic Development recently made some very false remarks. He claimed that the average Zimbabwean civil servant used to earn US$216. This is simply true as a quick perusal of the government’s own records shows that the average civil servant earned a respectable US$540 more than twice the figure claimed by the deputy minister. So why would he make such a provably false statement?

It is simple really. You see despite claims to the contrary, the Government of National Unity days were some of the best days the Zimbabwean economy has ever seen. A lot of Zimbabweans who lived through that period remember it fondly even though it was far from perfect. That is because for the first time, thanks to a power-sharing deal the naughty Zimbabwean government was forced to live within its means and a lot of economic sorcery was kept at a minimum. The powers are very much aware of the high regard with which the GNU era is held and the current crop often tries to make false comparisons that somehow paint the current situation as better than the GNU era. It’s a ridiculous comparison but one the government keeps making nevertheless.

Everyone was doing well during the GNU era compared to now. That is a fact that annoys the leaders of the so-called second republic because it is a condemnation of their performance. ZIMSTAT’s own data shows that a lot of civil servants now earn a salary that is well below the poverty line which seats above the $110 000 ZWL mark. More people have now live in poverty since 2017 when the second republic came into power. Their time in charge has been characterised by shameless looting, chaotic currency policies that saw the USD being banned and re-introduced, manipulated official rates and opaque deals such as the latest one involving Belarus and fire engines.

This is an unequivocal fact. Life was better under the GNU that under the self-styled second republic which as ushered in untold economic suffering through its inept economic policies. Arrogance and hubris are the order of the day. The latest instance of government insanity was the banning of loans without consulting stakeholders. Sadly we can expect more such acts of folly. The leaders of the republic have already promised price controls for all the good it will do.