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Opinion / Columnist

Ncube needs consistency

13 Nov 2018 at 11:28hrs | Views
Finance minister Mthuli Ncube will present his maiden National Budget next week Thursday against a background of huge economic challenges and public expectation that he is the man to help Zimbabwe out of its current rut.

So far, Ncube has had an unflattering start to his tenure as evidenced by public anger to his stabilisation measures such as the introduction of the two percent tax per every dollar transaction.

The former banker has also had to navigate the choppy Zanu-PF political waters as a result of his gung-ho approach to the current economic challenges which the party bigwigs view as being against the electorate.

In the eyes of neutrals, Ncube has flattered but only to deceive and are yet to see exactly how he intends to drive the economy. It is against these different opinions from relevant constituencies that the new Treasury chief needs to stamp his foot and have everyone on board if indeed Zimbabwe is to get itself out of the current economic problems.

One of the things that the Finance minister needs to do is to have consistency and the courage to break with the past which promoted profligacy on the part of government. It is unsettling that Ncube is going back on his word not to purchase vehicles for MPs and senators.

Last week, he promised members of the National Assembly who were meeting in Bulawayo that government will dole out money for their vehicles.

There is nothing wrong with government giving them loans for the purchase of the vehicles as long as it's done locally. The problem is that the SUVs and all-terrain vehicles should be imported at a time the country is experiencing acute foreign currency problems which we all know have contributed to shortages of basic medical drugs and consumer goods.

Ncube is now falling into a trap which could potentially militate against his economic recovery programme especially when one considers his unconvincing statement on giving bonuses to civil servants. If he gives civil servants bonuses and purchases vehicles for MPs, where will he get the money?

Will government go back to printing Treasury Bills knowing fully well that the $2,7 billion debt it is trying to service through the unpopular two percent tax per every dollar transaction is a result of its insatiable appetite for wasteful spending?

Let's wait and see.

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Source - dailynews
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