About That $200 Zimbabwe Bank Balance

So Finance Minister Tendai Biti said yesterday said that Zimbabwe’s bank balance was a measly $217.

This of course has become the rage of social media that a whole country could have that little money in its bank account. Cue the usual talk about where the diamond money is of course throw in our favourite word, corruption.

Taken out of context $217 context is a dire amount for a country to run especially when you think of the fact that the government has running costs it needs to service such as toilet paper and the like.

What Minister Biti simply failed to do was to create context. With context there would be very little alarm. In fact in reality you wonder if was necessary to say it in the first place. However having been said one has to be fully aware of the backdrop.

Biti was speaking about money for elections and that time was needed to beef up our coffers if we were indeed planning to have elections this year and that July would be a time when one would look at having elections. Maybe the good minister is playing politics here.

Also if one runs a company it is possible to have a bank balance that low. They call it cash-flow. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you are going to close down tomorrow.

This is not to say things are rosy here but the sensationalism shows how much people love bad news about Zimbabwe.

Having said that, Biti should know discretion an exercise it. It’s like a father telling his kids that he only $5 left in his bank after paying school fees and the sort.

  • Jack dee

    Discretion is the name of the game!
    It would have been better just to say, we are broke , government is down to it’s last cent after salaries were effected , full stop!
    But to be specific to the dollar is kind of being extreme for for of a lighter word but there is something called official secrets act built in to cushion any country from critical information they don’t need to know for preservation of public order counter public disorder , panic and discontent !
    Mayb it is thot by some that it’s our democratic right to know every cash transaction ? Mayb the minister should also tell us how much he himself spent when he has been going around the world recently too, to the very cent !
    It can be an advantage to ride on public ire when shifting blame , but this can always backfire …..!
    Caution and discretion would be exactly what the doctor ordered…
    This is walking a thin line ….

  • IngoStaR*

    This is a very good point in regard to context…there are many of us who have lived and some still living outside of the country and trying to break the stereotypes that the rest of the world has of us. There are still certain parts of the world that are ignorant enough of us as it is and many of us fight very hard to enlighten people about Zimbabwe and help them realize things are not as awful as they seem to be on the ground but all of that goes to shit when even our own politicians can’t get it right and fuel these unnecessary and stupid international stereotypes by making statements like this out of context