By Lance Guma
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HARARE – Zimbabwe’s Information Minister, Jonathan Moyo, has angrily denied intense media speculation that Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa will be sacked from his job, in a looming cabinet reshuffle by President Robert Mugabe.
In a statement issued Saturday evening, Moyo claimed “some sections of the media have been peddling a speculative and reckless story which has been shockingly personalised to allege that there is a looming Cabinet reshuffle whose specific purpose is to remove the Minister of Finance.”
Moyo was responding to reports that claimed Zanu PF hawks were pushing for Chinamasa’s sacking as they felt he was “clueless” on how to resuscitate the nearly comatose economy. It was also reported that former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono was the front-runner to succeed Chinamasa.
“The poverty of this self-indulgent propaganda, which went into overdrive and reached unacceptable proportions this past week, is exposed and negated by the fact that Cabinet appointments and Cabinet reshuffles are an exclusive Constitutional prerogative President Robert Mugabe,” Moyo wrote.
“It is a matter of the public record that President Mugabe does not and will never discharge this Constitutional prerogative via the media or any speculation or rumour. It is irresponsible and even corrupt for anyone to try and second guess the President on this matter or, worse, to try and influence him through baseless media speculation.”
Moyo said the speculation about Chinamasa being replaced by Gono “can only be believed by an idle mind that is wont to believe anything.”
“What is tellingly clear and unfortunate is that the speculation of an impending Cabinet reshuffle targeting the Minister of Finance is shameless propaganda sponsored by some dangerously ambitious interests whose recklessness against the country’s economic and security interests knows no bounds.
Under a shaky coalition government put together in February 2009, Zimbabwe’s economy stabilized and showed signs of growth. However another controversial election in July last year has rolled back the ghost of 2008 with companies closing and several banks struggling to stay afloat.
According to former Finance Minister Tendai Biti “the biggest mistake of the new administration has been to transit from cash- budgeting to deficit financing under circumstances where the deficit cannot be monetised through printing of money.
“The elementary rule of economics is that you cannot eat that which you have not killed. It will always catch up with you,” he said.
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