By Blessed Mhlanga
Opposition leader Nelson Chamisa has accused the Zanu PF government of deceiving local industries by dangling an $18 billion bailout package at a time State coffers were dry.
Chamisa yesterday said President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government, which has so far failed to disburse the $200 million bailout packages to starving families and US$200 million for healthcare workers fighting COVID-19, was too broke to bail out collapsing companies.
“They just pull figures out of thin air, they allocated about $200 million for relief to vulnerable
families where each family was supposed to get $200 and they are yet to disburse it. Where will the $18 billion come from? I was listening to the Minister of (Public Service, Labour and) Social Welfare saying we have not paid out the money and also remember this is RTGS money and it will be losing value,” Chamisa said.
Government has already sent an SOS to multilateral institutions begging for aid, saying if it does not come, the country could collapse.
In announcing the stimulus package on Friday, Mnangagwa admitted that the bailout to industry would be a challenge without aid from multilateral financiers.
Economist Godfrey Kanyenze said while government could not sit on the sidelines, the $18 billion stimulus package was a drop in the ocean.
“There will be need for emergency relief to support businesses to support the informal economy, to ensure that employee livelihoods are safeguarded. So, it’s a very tricky situation even if you were in government, as you know government collects taxes that’s why they have insisted that we move from level five to level two (of the lockdown).
“You are talking about it as if it’s a lot of money. If you translate it into US dollars, it’s probably US$430 million. Just divide by 25, so you can’t say that it’s a lot of money even to deal with the challenges that are upon us.
“We did some matrix where just if you look at the employees that may need support, the businesses that may be in distress, the amounts they require will actually go beyond that $400 and something million,” Kanyenze said. News Day