The sun that never rose: A rhetorical analysis of the July 2006 "Sunrise of Currency Reform" monetary policy review statement issued by the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.
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This paper analyses the rhetoric that Dr Gideon Gono, the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, used in his (in) famous ‘Sunrise of Currency Reform’ Monetary Policy Review Statement to make people believe that once the three zeros were removed from the currency, all economic problems would be a thing of the past. The paper argues that by largely using rhetoric that espoused the common ownership of the economic crisis, Gono attempted to create a common bond among the people. This analysis shows that Gono’s speech was fraught with buzz words and phrases such as ‘from zero to hero’ which, despite their fuzziness, were aimed at shortcircuiting the audience’s reasoning and persuading them to think that removing three zeros from the currency was a noble thing to do. Posing as a pious citizen, Gono attempted to make his speech turn the occasion into an epic moment by purporting collectivity in the exercise. It is concluded that although Gono’s speech contains a mixture of deliberative, forensic and deictic elements of a speech, the proverbial sun did not rise for the people of Zimbabwe, and that Gono’s Monetary Statement was one of his worst illusions.
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