Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni. Picture: ESA ALEXANDER
Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni. Picture: ESA ALEXANDER

At the recent meeting of the World Bank Group in Washington, finance minister Tito Mboweni and his director-general, Dondo Mogajane, lobbied Western nations to assist Zimbabwe’s economy and normalise relations with the IMF.

“A stable Zimbabwe is a stable SA,” said Mogajane when he met his counterparts from the US, France and Germany. 

This is undoubtedly true, but it remains to be seen whether the US and Western nations will listen to our finance minister given that our friends — Cuba, North Korea, Iran and Venezuela — are not the friends of the US and Europe.

Indeed, President Cyril Ramaphosa and international relations and co-operation minister Lindiwe Sisulu have been vocal about US President Donald Trump and Europe’s antagonistic attitude toward Venezuela and Cuba.

There is also the recent announcement by Sisulu that all relations with Israel were being severed. The ANC government must surely know that, given the US’s close relationship with Israel, this “boycott” will harm our country more than it will  Israel.

This unconciliatory approach by our government is also likely to impair any desire the West may have to listen to us. Moreover, to castigate the US and its president, as our government has done, and then expect them to top up the begging bowl, is impertinent to say the least.

Considering our government’s gross incompetence, perhaps discernment and expedience are beyond its aptitude.

Nathan Cheiman