Finance minister hiding behind a finger 

Source: Finance minister hiding behind a finger – NewsDay Zimbabwe August 3, 2019


FINANCE minister Mthuli Ncube’s 2019 Mid-Term Monetary Policy Review statement on Thursday was very interesting in more ways than one.

Firstly, that publishing annual inflation has been suspended for seven months until February 2020 was one of those very curious aspects of the minister’s monetary review that only serves to alert otherwise unsuspecting citizens to something that is horribly wrong somewhere.

The last time such a thing happened was in July 2008 when the country’s inflation got so embarrassingly out of control that government simply put a lid on
statistics after slashing dozens of zeros from the local currency countless times to try and hide the runaway hyperinflation.

But even by suspending publication of the annual inflation statistics at 231 million percent in July 2008, the then Robert Mugabe-led government did not stop
it from running wild to 89,7 sextrillion (that is 21 zeros) by mid-November 2008.

And Ncube and company are trying to do exactly the same thing having suspended telling us the inflation progression after the monster from the past reached
175% last month.

Instead, Ncube proposed that business and consumers keen on gauging price movements have to rely on month-on-month numbers. But this will not help the situation; he is merely hiding behind a finger.

The second other interesting thing about what Ncube told us was the massive hikes in the cost of government services which left many of us wondering what
exactly is President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration trying to achieve by all these measures which are simply aiding the very ills they are trying to get
rid of.

Was it not these very same people who have been telling us innumerable times that prices will fall, even threatening private sector businesses with
ruthless action for hiking prices of their goods and services.

Or is it a case of do as we say and not as we do. The biggest lesson many have learnt from Ncube’s monetary review is that when government indicates left, they
mean right.

Nothing they assure us about is anywhere near the truth which makes planning for anyone a real nightmare. Is it any wonder that investors are stuck far away
from the fence given the unpredictable nature of those running this country?

The third other sad take from the monetary review statement is that come next week, life in Zimbabwe will be a real nightmare when electricity and fuel charges astronomically shoot up.

Is Mnangagwa’s regime even aware of what they are creating, or they don’t care? If they know, are they sure the poverty-gnawed Zimbabweans can keep absorbing
these hard-to-chew austerity measures?

Time will tell, but hiding behind a finger won’t help the situation.


  • comment-avatar
    Damn Shame 3 years ago

    I’ve seem more well managed monopoly games being played by 6 year olds than good decisions and wise direction being taken by the people leading this country.

    When a the leaders are overcome by stupidity and greed the country is doomed. We all suffer because our leaders want what they cannot earn and they resort to stealing it from the people.

    They do not address root problems and keep throwing in new departments, ministries and task forces to help conceal additional and growing theft.

    A few people get thrown under the bus, but there is no improvement, they are not working for an improvement, they are simply stealing every penny they can as quickly as they can before they are undoubtedly dethroned one way or another.

    Next will be another leader, who too will help the current one into a lovely relaxing retirement, and then he will start the cycle of building his wealth at the expense of the people.

    As long as there is something left to pillage in the country there will be fighting for the position of chief thief.