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‘We are being misled, Gvt is the problem in currency conundrum’ – Mliswa

By Nyashadzashe Ndoro | Nehanda Politics |

Outspoken Norton legislator Temba Mliswa says the government is responsible for the currency crisis facing the country and urged it to promote use of local money.

Norton legislator Temba Mliswa
Norton legislator Temba Mliswa

Government recently embarked on a name and shame operation targeting companies and individuals accused of fuelling the galloping foreign currency parallel exchange rate. But the move was criticised for being selectively applied.

Mliswa said government was also complicit in the problem because is taxed companies in US dollars.

“Government should promote the use of the local currency to stabilise the economy and also to get rid of the auction backlog. In the interim Govt is operating for a profit like the private sector, competing with it and the result is the current mess.

“We are being misled, Gvt is the problem in this currency conundrum. Why is it taxing in foreign currency instead of promoting our own currency? Taxes should predominantly be levied in ZWL$. It is a failure to do this which amounts to sabotaging the economy by the Gvt itself,” he said.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) recently named and shamed more than 70 individuals alleged to be abusing mobile phone services and social media to facilitate forex transactions.

But Mliswa said, “the problem isn’t the private sector or the forex dealers who have been arrested. @czionline has revealed in it’s report that the Govt has over US$400 million which is stashed. That money isn’t doing anything. It could have been used to clear the auction backlog. What is it kept for?

“Most of the companies who are being taxed in forex are also now withholding their money. The Ministry of Finance is culpable for this mess, not RBZ. RBZ is only the lender of last resort and monitors the monetary system.

“So basically taxes should be in local currency, the auction backlog should be cleared and the US$400m which the government has should be used. Does the President know about all this? The Government is the problem in this mess and it should not mislead us. @GGuvamatanga @MthuliNcube

“Gvt is pushing the US$ by taxing the US$. We also need answers on what the US$400m at the Ministry of Finance is doing. Are they looking to share it among themselves? This is where corruption comes in. It’s bad in terms of governance & public finance management.” Nehanda Radio