The infamous closure of the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange and mobile money was ordered by soldiers who forced Mnangagwa’s administration to take the measures without consulting Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe(RBZ) officers, government sources have revealed.
Zimbabwe’s security force leaders sidelined the nation’s economic chiefs and forced the government to issue an order to close the stock exchange and halt most mobile-money transactions.
The June 26 order came after pressure from the Joint Operations Command and was made without notifying the central bank, which regulates the mobile-money industry through which almost all of Zimbabwe’s commerce takes place, the people said. They asked not to be identified because the role of the JOC hasn’t been disclosed publicly.
The measure is further evidence that senior ruling party and military officials are growing impatient with the administration of President Emmerson Mnangagwa. Inflation has surged to 786%, the currency has crashed and the country is facing shortages of food and fuel.
The JOC includes officials from the military, police and secret service and is the highest body in terms of coordinating state security, though it doesn’t usually pronounce on economic matters. It stepped in after deeming that Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube and central bank Governor John Mangudya failed to take action to address the crisis, one of the people said.
Low morale in the army
Zimbabwe’s Defence and War Veterans Minister, Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri has said that the morale of the army is very low owing to a number of issues attributed to the worsening socio-economic crisis in the country.
She made the remarks when she appeared before the Parliamentary Portfolio portfolio committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services. She added:
Inadequate funding for food, transport, fuel and kitting, which became perennial after the imposition of illegal sanctions, also take their toll on both the morale of troops and effectiveness.