The public discussion, held at St Maryâ€™s Hall in the high density suburb of Chitungwiza was attended by about 300 residents from the dormitory town.
The topic for discussion was â€œBond Notes: Disaster or Hopeâ€. Panelists at the public meeting included Zimbabwe Democracy Institute (ZDI) Director, Dr. Pedzisayi Ruhanya, Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) Chairperson, Simbarashe Moyo and Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) President, Alistair Pfunye.
CIZC has since March 2016 been running the #SayNoToBondNotes campaign aimed at educating citizens on the negative effects of bond notes which the Zimbabwean government says will assist in alleviating the liquidity crisis currently facing Zimbabwe.
ZDI Director, Dr. Pedzisayi Ruhanya noted that Zimbabweâ€™s economy has suffered due to a prolonged political crisis that has impacted negatively on the livelihoods of Zimbabweans.
Reform of the governance system is critical to enable Zimbabwe to move out of its multi-faceted crisis, according to Dr. Ruhanya.
â€œWhat we need is the reform of the governance system. The problem that we have is that of politicians wanting to stick to power and that is the reason why we find ourselves in this mess. For the Zimbabwean economy to recover, we must open up the political system to an extent that every citizen enjoys rights guaranteed in the constitution not the lawlessness we are currently witnessing in Zimbabwe,â€ said Ruhanya.
He said the Zimbabwean governmentâ€™s move to print bond notes was a sure recipe for disaster and will plunge Zimbabwe back to the 2008 era which was characterized by hyperinflation, basic goods shortages, company closures and a high rate of unemployment.
He also highlighted that as long as there is no reform in the countryâ€™s political system, Zimbabwe will continue to suffer the effects of lack of Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs).
Ruhanya urged participants to exercise their constitutional right to vote for able leadership and urged Civic Society Organizations (CSOs) to play a critical role in mobilizing the masses to register to vote.
CHRA Chairperson, Simbarashe Moyo said CSOs ought to play a big role in resolving the Zimbabwean crisis through mobilizing citizens to demand their socio-economic as well as political rights.
He told the meeting that bond notes introduction was a â€œshort term solution to a long term crisisâ€.
â€œWe cannot expect people who created our problems to solve them. The introduction of bond notes means that the printing of money has started and no one is going to control that. We will not be able to avoid issues of a parallel market and what this effectively means is that we are headed for nowhere. We are heading for disaster and citizens will be at the receiving end and issues such as effective service delivery will suffer immensely,â€ said Moyo.
ZINASU President, Alistair Pfunye said Zimbabweans ought to stand up against disastrous economic policies by the government.
â€œThe bond notes introduction will obviously affect the future of youths just like what we saw during the era of bearer cheques. But we cannot continue to sit down and watch the government ruining our future. We need to be able to say no to such ruinous policies,â€ said Pfunye.
A participant, Chamunorwa Gonese said the levels of decay in Zimbabwe were alarming and required a political solution.
â€œWhat we have learnt is that Zimbabwe is faced with a political crisis and we need a political solution. We need to encourage each other to vote because we can only be able to enjoy political as well as socio-economic rights if we vote for a responsible leadership,â€ said Gonese.
Another participant, Mercy Tunhira bemoaned that there was no political will to resolve the Zimbabwean crisis.
â€œMy biggest concern is that the government is not moved at all by the crisis in Zimbabwe. Instead they continue to loot while the majority suffer. We need to mobilize and demand our socio-economic rights in our different areas,â€ said Tunhira.Post published in: Featured