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Austerity measures causing more suffering to Zimbabweans

26 Jul 2019 at 06:47hrs | Views
Emmerson Mnangagwa's led government must come clean on the austerity measures implemented by Finance Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube.

Zimbabwe announced austerity measures to spur the economic growth, calling it 'austerity for prosperity', where the finance minister set to cut the wages for the President, Ministers and senior government officials by 5% as a result of the runaway inflation, and announced a raft of austerity measures to jump-start the ailing economy.

It remains a million dollar question on how such measures are being implemented. More government expenditure is being witnessed where the President has clocked more tracelling trips on a hired jet for government businesses. It is still unknown whether the proposed downsizing of aboout 3000 workers in government to cut expenditure has been effected. This has caused more strain and load on the fiscal policy.

Ncube said Zimbabwe will continue to use the multi-currency system, which is dominated by the dollar and the rand, with the greenback as the currency of reference at 1:1 with the surrogate bond notes local currency. This was changed last month through the illegal use of $US. Such a change of policy was effected without full consultation from the business community and other stakeholders.

A few weeks later after the introduction of the local currency, the government made an abrupt turn allowing hotels and resort areas to pay their bills in foreign currency. Our government is so incompetent. It indicates right whilst turning left.

Mthuli Ncube is reported to have ended the austerity period, but on the other hand Minister of Foreign Affairs S.B Moyo said people must brace up for another three more years of austerity. This kind of confusion leaves a lot to be desired. Who hould people listen to, Ncube or Moyo?

Lack of policy consistency seems to be a major stumbling block in this new republic.

The anticipated growth projection in 2019 of about 3.1%, fell back as inflation, fuel shortages and power supply took their toll.

The economy should be on the mend but unfortunately it is on the knife edge. The centre is no longer holding the ground. The economy is talking and life has become so difficult for most of the people. We now have a government that has failed to provide basic commodities to its citizens.

Paying lip-service to the reform agenda is counterproductive. Only genuine, far-reaching economic and political reforms will propel this great nation to its rightful position in the family of nations.

Parents are finding it hard to send their chidren to school. Teachers are struggling demotivated and emotionally drained in classes. The quality of Zimbabwean education is likely to drop down with such kind of conditions.

The country has liquidated. There is no development to talk about. The Harare -Chirundu dualisation is an eyesore. Towns and cities are now full of drilled boreholes because the government cannot afford to pump clean water to the cities. Money , transport, power ,jobs and social services are a dream in Zimbabwe.

Looting in the government is so rampant and recently reports of abuse of around $3 billion was unearthed. Politicians have been milking government coffers under the banner of "Command Agriculture". People are eagerly, waiting to see how this ugly case will be handled by ZACC.

I have been following the events of the chilly Audit report from Mildred Chiri who has exposed the grand expenditure of the government. We have a problem with people who are into the government masquerading as politicians yet they are thieves milking cows of the poor. Imagining a government spending $2 billion without parly approval is a cause of concern. Corruption within the top political bigwigs and government officials to the lower runks has become fashionable.

Thuggery , bogus, hit and run economic policies will not work. A new wave of thinking outside our quadruple must be employed.

Talk only without taking action is cheap. Let's hope the arrest of Minister of Tourism Mrs Priscilla Mupfumira is not a political gimmick. Zimbabwe needs to start at a clean sheet. Heads must start rolling.


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Source - Leonard Koni
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