IT can only happen in Africa; and it is, indeed, such a shame that the continent has become world famous and synonymous with leaders who are so crass that they will walk with a swagger while their noses point to the sky when their economies are a shambles.

NewsDay Comment

It is, indeed, only in Africa where failed leaders will kill to defend their blatant failures. And, indeed, it is very sad that amid all this mess there are cheerleaders busy ululating and applauding the disastrous mediocrity.

A case in point is the fact that the Zimbabwe dollar has plunged 85% since it was reintroduced as legal tender exactly a decade after it was shunted out of circulation by brutal hyperinflation which officially topped 500 billion percent by December 2008.

As if eternally cursed, the reintroduced local currency is again being mauled daily and increasingly proving useless against other major currencies.

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If this were somewhere else where leaders care much about their personal reputations some would have resigned in the wake of such a disaster. Honestly, how can someone who, some 10 months ago, was so confident about the currency weathering the storm still be in office? Midway through the year those who birthed the Zimdollar suddenly decided to stop telling us the rate of annual inflation, ostensibly to help build confidence in the trouble currency. But everything point to the fact that the attempt was a dismal failure. Period!

A more than 500% loss in value of any currency is simply catastrophic and so shocking that it should send someone’s blood pressure to hyper levels. But this is Zimbabwe, which happens to be in Africa, where the strangest of things have become so commonplace that an economic disaster is now being accepted as the norm. If this is yet another new norm for the southern African nation, then little wonder millions have been fleeing into self-imposed exile.

Under such circumstances it is very difficult for anyone in their senses to continue having hope when all the fundamentals that should be raising confidence are absent.

If the people, who reintroduced the Zimdollar back in February assertively telling us that the currency would hold its own, are still insisting that the currency will rise from the intensive care unit, then God, Allah and all the gods help us. We hope and pray that we will be proved wrong in our lifetime.