Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Biti says Chinamasa was a better Finance minister than Mthuli Ncube

By Nyashadzashe Ndoro | Nehanda Politics |

Outspoken MDC Alliance vice president Tendai Biti has argued that former Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa handled the country’s coffers better than the Mthuli Ncube.

Main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) vice president and legislator Tendai Biti
Main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) vice president and legislator Tendai Biti

Ncube was appointed Finance minister in 2018 after President Emmerson Mnangagwa controversially won the first election without late former Zanu PF leader Robert Mugabe.

Speaking to NewsDay Monday about the current national budget consultations, the former Finance minister said Ncube was a liar. Biti mocked the former banker for failing to meet targets of the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP).

Biti who was the country’s Finance boss during the Government of National Unity was replaced by Chinamasa after the 2013 elections. He said Chinamasa was a better Finance minister than Ncube.

“Mthuli is a complete liar. Mthuli is a fraud. He failed to meet the targets of the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP). He said the economy would average in the TSP 9% growth, he didn’t. This year’s growth is minus 10%. He said he will fund the budget but he failed.

“For the 2020 budget for instance, we were talking to MPs, there is an ongoing workshop for Parliamentarians. The 2020 budget is funded by 30%. Therefore he is maintaining a budget deficit through non delivery.

“So you can’t say there are surpluses when there are no medicines at Parirenyatwa Hospital. When there is no doctors at Harare Hospital. When teachers are not going to school.

“The broad money supply has increased hence inflation. If you go into a supermarket the prices of goods are huge,” Biti said.

Recently, Mnangagwa’s government unveiled its new economic blueprint the National Development Strategy-1 (NDS-1) citing that it is expected to provide the guardrails and springboard needed for the economy to take off.

Ncube said TSP, from which the new programme takes over, has managed to deliver its primary goal of stabilising the exchange rate and prices.

Biti said Ncube will fail to achieve targets from his policies because he lacks courage to confront the real cause of problems which include corruption.

“If he failed on the TSP, he will fail on the NDS because he does not have the courage of addressing structural reforms that are required to cure this economy.

“And also they won’t allow him because part of the problem that we have is that this country is too corrupt. Mr Mnangagwa and his lot are too corrupt.

“At least Chinamasa tried but the environment was too much for him.

In the end he gave up and joined the boys. That is why he started issuing treasury bills. He became part of the problem. But when he started, he thought he could make a difference. But Mthuli from the word go, totally right off. He is a joke but one that is not fun,” Biti added.

Zimbabwe is being buffeted by its worst economic crisis in over a decade, including scarcity of basics like water, electricity, fuel and staple grain. Nehanda Radio