SOUTH SUDAN FROM BLACK MARKET TO BLANK MARKET: THEY CAN’T BEAT THEM, SO THEY JOIN THEM!
JOIN IN COMMITTING THE CRIME TO STOP THE CRIME….(Only in South Sudan).
“Because of the difference in the official exchange rate and the black markets compounded by the need to meet the deficiency in the budget allocated to the Ministry of Defence and the security, the government decided to sell every dollar to the central bank at the rate of 4.50 (all the way up from 2.96!), so that it covers this difference, ” the Central Bank governor explained.
The above statement by Kornelio Koryom Mayik’dit’, the boss of the C-BOSS (Central Bank of South Sudan), portrays (correction), betrays, the pretense (I call it ‘HypoKiirisy’), which the government of South Sudan under President Salva Kiir Mayardit is always forcing the naive natives of his baby nation to be sitting on. This seems to justify the war adage: If you can’t beat them, join them. So the Government has accepted to join the black market criminals by raising their official exchange rates by upto 100% so that they are equal, hence equitable, in competition with the black market rates. So why join instead of beat them out of the street abuse of our precious currency? Wonders will never end.
But what the Old Guard do always not foresee here is that, being black market ‘investors’, the goons will always migrate from their official black market rate of, say, 4.50 SSP per dollar to 10.5 or even more till we meet Zimbabwe, because they also want to tap from that difference, which was created by them with the full backing of the government. Why now does it need a rocket science for Koryomdit or Sabuni-dit to detect that the street ‘dollarists’ will shift camp ahead every time they are tried to be joined in the underground marketeering?
Just imagine who pays that difference to clear the government’s so-called ‘Defence Deficiency’? It is a nightmare to patients, students and Konyo-Konyo women, who cannot access the Central Bank but depend on mercy of the black marketeers for dollars to settle their bills on fees and imports of tomatoes and potatoes from the neighbouring countries!
By the way, from my personal analogy, the best way to play hide-and-seek solo, a one-in-two-man game, is to wait till your shadow falls late in the afternoon, and then try to catch it, yourself. By the end of this catch-22 sort of the game in the end of the day, your referee will be the sunset. That exactly is what South Sudan government is doing trying to chase after the black market squirrels (moneyfacturers); not with the intention of catching and arresting them, but with the intention of cashing and harvesting from their rate extension in a laisez faire competition at Customs and Konyo-Konyo markets! At this speed, don’t just be afraid, be very afraid of our economy and general lives in the year/s head!
For our government to think they can fund both war and peace projects by the profits they will have made from what the central bank governor describes as “the difference between the official bank rate and the black market rate” makes it look like a mason who jumps into a bucket and tries to pull himself up the roof without the help of a pulley. How can you defeat the Zimbabwean type of runaway inflation while announcing funny draconian decrees “Expelling ALL Foreigners Within One Month” on national television and other public media?
For how long will you sustain millions of ghost salary earners, majority of whom in the thinly stretched army in the frontline, using the profits you will tap from the exchange rate difference between the black market and your central bank? Well, try to print more notes in the next deficit-budget fiscal year and you will send your women with wheelbarrowloads of notes to Konyo Konyo! Just try it, Your Excellency, for war demands purposes. I bet by my mobile phone and its annual airtime, you will resign if you care! That is why I cannot stop seeing the fallacy in the policy of shifting the nation from the black market to the ‘blank market’, that is, no market at all–just like the Zimbabwean one miserably described by Mugabe regime’s sufferers here.
“A lot of us have been diagnosed with high blood pressure,” says Dube. “It’s not surprising. We’ve been relying on beer for stress management – a drink or two a night. But beer last week was $10bn a quart. This week it was $20bn on Monday (July 7). On Wednesday it was $40bn and now it is $60bn. So this thing we have been using as stress management is beyond our reach. That is very bad.” By yesterday, beer was $150bn a quart. Many people, Dube says, have found themselves forced to become black market traders. “More or less every family finds it imperative to have a vendor,” he says. (The Guardian).
Secondly, and most importantly, when we, the ordinary citizens who are the politicians’ power, voice in our concerns either in forewarning or reactionary blames, our leaders blindly victimize us, their people, by suppressing our opinions, which are supposed to guide them. As a result, they are allowed to do their own things till they later land themselves in deep shits and confess too late like this old man of the Central Bank of South Sudan, again:
“There are challenges before us in this country. I tell you sincerely that there are enormous challenges facing us as leaders to make decisions and take actions. There are now challenges to make decision to unify these efforts, including plans to unify rates. There should be increased salaries for employees and the austerity measures should be implemented first. This is not the work of Central Bank. Money given to foreign exchange bureaus by Bank of South Sudan often finds its way to the black market”, Koryom said upon being pressed.” Koryomdit faced the MPs who summoned him on 18 September 2014 to explain for the second year in a row why he unilaterally devalues the currency.
“In our own efforts and desire to control this situation with other relevant institutions, we deployed over 60 security personnel to these institutions. We gave them strict instructions to monitor and control the flow of the hard currency into the markets. We clearly explained to them the category of people who should get the hard currency,” he remarked.
Exactly, Mr. Governor, take it or leave it from this ordinary citizen today that the category of people who should get — and who are actually getting — the hard currency are the ‘security personnel’ of yours that you have deployed in the markets. They are the black marketeers, period!
However, it is against my forecast to use the word ‘conclusion’ in this piece of the topic I am not well versed in. The conclusion will be met when the government has heeded to our early warning concerns as such and arrested the situation, or after it has headed for total collapse. This is no insensitive doomsaying as others will term it, but viewing from the racketeering cartel that the government has officially joined, the economy will be in an ‘Inflation Express Coach’ galloping down ‘Harare Road’ in Juba, probably in a year’s time or more from now (God forbid)…Because we all will be there that time…unless genuine peace is signed. I repeat, those gagging us for this warning campaign will come back to us later and say, “You were right!” So before you it is too late, join us in pressuring our leaders to relinquish their myopic view and save our country from diving into perdition of the 1988 starvation and 1991 mass killing. Unfortunately fellow youth will not understand this due to their paid allegiance to the the semi-gods and demigods of our nation!
Since I am not an economist but a peace activist, I repeat this line: UNLESS GENUINE PEACE IS SIGNED!