The Sunday Mail

Nothing climaxes the opposition and its group of foreign handlers more than skyrocketing commodity prices and an exchange rate threatening to go haywire.

It gives oxygen to their faltering political fortunes and hope to their hopeless political enterprise.
So as greedy retailers continue to swap price tags in sympathy with runaway prices and as fuel prices climb north – and with them the price of goods and services – you can be sure they are rather delighted; even excited. Price volatility potentially makes workers restless and the population anxious, which is obviously a recipe for restlessness.

For the opposition, this creates a valuable asset – disaffection with government – ​​which can be easily weaponized and used as a practical political mobilization tool in an attempt to gain political power.

Bishop Lazi told you last week that the opposition “now clings only to the hope that the economy will somehow implode and give them a fighting chance through an urban vote. furious”.

UK supermarkets have started rationing cooking oil

Clearly, that will never happen!

Those who think the opposition will one day define and articulate its ideology or come up with a compelling, sellable manifesto and plan of action should perish that thought.

Since its conception, the opposition has always relied on people’s suffering and poverty as a stairway to power and a possible route to the State House.

This is why they will never speak out against or condemn the US and EU sanctions on Zimbabwe, which they actively instigated, and cheer every bad news, which they foolishly try to glue on the government’s supposed ineptitude .

You should have seen them last week as they cheered on bread and cooking oil prices.
Gushing and ecstatic Triple C spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere didn’t disappoint, recycling his usual clichés: “You can’t rig the economy” — whatever that means — and “We need new leaders.” .

pain of war
Unbeknownst to our so-called learned sister, who is either hopelessly naïve or mischievous or both, the pain we feel at supermarket checkouts is the consequence of the fire and brimstone currently raining down on Ukraine after the Russia launched its special military operation on February 24.

The immediate pressure of rising hostilities in Eastern Europe was reflected in soaring oil prices on the international market.

As global markets sneezed, we also caught a cold.

When we opened the year, gasoline and diesel prices were pegged at $1.41 and $1.38 per liter respectively, but after last week’s reviews, gasoline has since climbed to $1. US$.63 per litre, while diesel – a key input for the industry – jumped to US$1.71.

This simply means that gasoline and diesel have risen by US0.22 and US0.33 in that order since the start of the year.

This is quite a significant increase, especially over a period of 66 days since the beginning of the conflict. And the implications of rising fuel prices for production costs and, by extension, the prices of basic goods and services are quite obvious.

If only people knew of the efforts the government has invested in tempering rising prices through subsidies and blending, among many other creative interventions.

It could have been worse.
It looks like we might have these challenges for a while though.

Russia produces 11% of the world’s oil, supplies 40% – almost half – of the European Union’s (EU) gas and 27% of its oil, and as panicked European countries look elsewhere for supplies to wean themselves off heavy reliance on Moscow, it is likely to put pressure on already available supplies and push prices even higher, which is bad news, especially for middle-income and low-income countries.

Which is also lost on people like Fadzayi Mahere, who late last year threw shades at his law firm’s interns for coming to work without a class “holding a loaf of bread in one hand and avocado in the other” – presumably for gluttony over breakfast or lunch – is that, had it not been for the foresight and aggressive measures of the new political administration to ensure food security, we might have had to settle for seeing loaves of bread and confectionery in magazines and on television due to severe wheat shortages.

Russia and Ukraine account for 30% of the world’s wheat supply and now that they are at war, grain prices have skyrocketed, creating a lot of discomfort around the world.
Fortuitously and fortunately, last year we managed to harvest 330,000 tonnes of wheat, which is 30,000 tonnes less than our current demand, but the highest ever.

It just means that Fadzayi trainees, unlike some parts of the world that are beginning to feel the heat of rising wheat prices, will have the privilege of enjoying their daily bread.

This year, we even foresee wheat self-sufficiency at all costs.

As we are budgeting to bring 70,000 hectares under cultivation, an increase from last year’s 66,000 hectares, ceteris paribus, we could certainly achieve our envisioned goal, helping to insulate the country from price shocks in the global market. . Another sore point is the price of cooking oil which has been similarly affected by the war. And Zimbabwean cooks really love their cooking oil; they put it in everything and anything.

Do you still remember last year when the Minister of Industry and Trade, Dr Sekai Nzenza, became the butt of jokes after ignoramuses failed to understand his message that rising oil prices cooking oil was then caused by the rise in crude oil prices on the international market? Apparently they didn’t know that all this time the country depended on crude sunflower oil due to limited local production.

It’s not that funny now, is it?
You see, Russia and Ukraine account for 60% of the world’s sunflower supply, and the conflict has naturally disrupted the availability and prices of the commodity.

The world therefore has to scramble for the few resources available.
But the crisis is already taking its toll in countries like the UK, Iceland and Italy, which are now rationing the amount of sunflower cooking oil customers can buy.

In Iceland, for example, some supermarkets reportedly limit sales of two-litre and five-litre bottles of sunflower oil to one per customer.

Argh, how the mighty fell.
There could still be more pain in store, as Washington and its allies continue to arm Ukraine, including farmers who would normally have to work the land. So the problem of price escalation and associated challenges, which have since been flagged by the World Bank, is not unique to Zimbabwe, as the opposition would like to believe, but is a global phenomenon that has been provoked in the world by the excessive exaggeration of the United States the ambition to monopolize geopolitically its sworn enemy, Russia.

This is why inflation is accelerating to record levels in Turkey, the United States, the Eurozone and the United Kingdom, among many other jurisdictions.

Craving US Dollars
But, on our shores, rising prices for essential raw materials and competition for scarce resources on the world market have led restless companies to attack foreign exchange markets to hedge their positions by stockpiling.

This caused exchange rate volatility and the resulting wave after wave of price adjustments.
Being creatures of habit, some mischievous big cats and business owners took shortcuts and casually ignored established regulations and laws; in the process, worsening an already difficult environment.

The bishop once told you that it’s not those guys who stand on street corners and at the entrance to supermarkets who set the exchange rate and move large amounts of money.

It’s actually whiskey-and-shrimp-hungry executives who sit in the spacious offices of some reputable organizations playing at matching the available foreign currencies.

It’s the people who drive the rate up, but the improvement will come soon enough.
There have been repeated warnings from the highest office in the country and action will naturally follow.

You must beware!
There are also selfish neighborhoods looking to ride the current wave of anxiety and angst to push for full dollarization.

This will never happen for obvious scientific reasons. We talked about the unenviable experiences that some Latin American countries, including ours, have had with dollarization.
The US dollar is like morphine: it will only get you high but it won’t solve your problems.

For all its shortcomings, the RBZ Foreign Currency Auction has been successful in arbitrating the market and channeling resources into critical sectors that might otherwise not obtain funds in an overly liberalized market, where forex trading will be conducted according to the whims and whims of the forex barons. .

Well, all that is needed in the face of the significant exogenous headwinds we face is to double down on import substitution, as we are already doing, by localizing agricultural production, manufacturing, and infrastructure development contracts.

Over the past four years, we have weathered droughts, cyclones, and a pandemic, and we will certainly emerge stronger from the final aberrations.

All those who pray for Zimbabwe to fail for their own selfish ends, like the people of the opposition, mislead their expectations.

There is wisdom in Proverbs 24:3-9, which advises, “By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by dint of knowledge its halls are filled with rare and magnificent treasures.
The wise prevail with great power, and those with knowledge gather their strength.

Surely you need advice to wage war, and victory is won by many advisers. Wisdom is too high for fools; in the congregation at the door, they must not open their mouths.

One who plots evil will be known as a schemer. Crazy schemes are sins, and people hate a scoffer.
Take care.
Bishop out!

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