By Nyashadzashe Ndoro
Finance minister, Mthuli Ncube and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor, John Mangudya, were this week cornered in a closed-door politburo meeting by top Zanu PF officials and accused of working against the ruling party amid their failure revive the economy.
Sources told the Zimbabwe Independent that much of the criticism came from Obert Mpofu and former Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa, who demanded answers from Ncube and Mangudya over how they are running the struggling Zimbabwean economy.
They accused Mangudya and Ncube of introducing policies that seem to work against Zanu PF interests.
“Most criticism came from Mpofu and Chinamasa, but all members basically expressed concern over the way the economy was being run. Generally, the two were being accused of working against the party. As you may know, to us the government is subservient to the party, which is then responsible for articulating these policies to the people.
“So what we have done now is to summon some of these ministers whose policies seem to work against Zanu PF interests.
“So as the Finance minister and governor, we told them that they must fix the economy with great urgency since it’s their area of responsibility, but they clearly stated that things have gone out of hand and it would take a miracle for things to normalise anytime soon unless government, as a matter of urgency, develops a strategy to fund the productive sectors of the economy,” a politburo member told the paper.
The source added that Ncube told the meeting that the economy was going to take a long time to recover, depending on the necessary interventions indicating that in the long run, his TSP would bear fruit, “but you could see no one was buying that narrative,” he said.
The politburo source also added that Mangudya was also tasked to respond on the proliferation of illegal foreign currency traders who are being blamed for fueling inflation.
The source said Mangudya stated that he was having a hard time trying to arrest the runaway inflation and was running out of options after so many loopholes emerged as he sought to close one after another.
“As governor, he was asked to act on the high level of instability in the exchange rate which has seen the local currency getting so severely corroded that salaries no longer mean anything. Mangudya said the major problem was that we are importing everything as a country and producing very little.
“He said, for instance, we grow wheat enough only to last three months and import wheat for the rest of the year, hence the high prices of bread. He told the meeting that unless government prioritised funding for the productive sectors of the economy, there was no hope.
“All raw materials are being imported. Mangudya stated that he was having a hard time trying to arrest the runway inflation and was running out of options after so many loopholes emerged as he sought to close one after another.
“He said players in the forex dealings have become so skillful that by the time they come up with a measure to control it, they would already have plotted a new way,” the politburo source said.
Zimbabwe’s annual inflation soared more than 750% in May and the figures have been stoking fears of a return of the kind of hyperinflation that wiped out savings 11 years ago.
When President Emmerson Mnangagwa, grabbed power from late former president Robert Mugabe via a military coup in November 2017, he promised to revive the economy.
Nearly two years later, the economy is retrogressing with many goods including fuel, medicines and the staple maize meal in short supply while many Zimbabweans are now saying Mnangagwa’s regime is worse than Mugabe’s. Nehanda Radio