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10 key questions you can ask Mthuli Ncube

By Chenayi Mutambasere

Dear Citizens

Having read Mthuli’s interview statement as presented by the Herald I see that yet again he is trying to blind the citizens with ambiguous smoke and mirror statements . That under examination don’t make any sense and are probably not worth much . Incase any of you get the chance meeting with the Zanuconomic Specialist here are 10 key questions you can ask him.

Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube
Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube

1- A key contributor to the overly ambitious TSP is the freezing of civil servant salaries and enforced retirement . This is contrary to your objective of having a gdp per capita of US$2020. How do you envisage incomes to increase when the biggest employer freezes salaries?

2- the above point together with most of the proposals made have been the status quo in Zimbabwe for the last few years wherein things have gotten worse not better. What will make salary freeze for example work this time?

3- the introduction of the rtgs has seen inflation increase and a further loss in value of all the domestic currencies . Your statement suggests the RTGS launch has been good for the economy please explain clearly the positive impact that this has had?

4- You mention that the Nostro bank accounts now hold a total of US$800million, (if we ignore for a minute that this is significantly less than required ) – you state in the same breath that this money is not available on the interbank market.

Simple question here – where is the money ? Is it held in the bank accounts or not ? if it is is it offshore ? If yes to do that then why are our banks allowed to hold money offshore when we have a liquidity crisis ? Why is the regulator not doing something about this?

5- The TSP says it will tighten fiscus efforts to collect tax revenue. This is paradoxical to the next statement which offers large corporations tax break to incentivise foreign investments . Does this mean then that local tax and civilian salaries whom are already tax burdened will continue to pay large taxes to compensate for non existent large corps on tax breaks?

6- You state that investors respond to prudent fiscal policy. Investors are rent seekers they want to make money. If there is austerity or prudent fiscal policy then the government is spending less and it is a contracting monetary policy. Why would investors come where there is no money?

7- Further investors will come when they can trust and have confidence in the economy. For Zimbabwe a key if not the only contributor to investor trust and confidence is political reform which requires a dialogue with the MDC Alliance. It’s hard to take you seriously when this isn’t mentioned anywhere in your statement. Why are you not delivering political reform?

8- Why are you not prepared to share and consult openly on the contents of the TSP?

9- Apparently the TSP talks about shrinking the agriculture subsidy. How will the small scale local farmers survive ?

10- You have mentioned that RTGS is a game changer. Kindly tell us at what point you are expecting the game to change? From where we stand hakuna hakuna – same train different driver.

Chenayi Mutambasere (MSc Development Economics and Policy University of Manchester , BA (Hon) Economics, University of Manchester) is a Development Economist living in the UK. You can follow her on Twitter handle @ChenayiM