via Zanu PF Politburo backs Chinamasa – NewsDay October 16, 2015
THE Zanu PF politburo has thrown its weight behind Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa’s efforts to re-engage international financiers and warned party hawks to stop vilifying him or throwing spanners in the works.
BY RICHARD CHIDZA
Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo told journalists after yesterday’s politburo meeting in Harare that the party was happy with the re-engagement report presented by Chinamasa.
“Chinamasa also updated the politburo on fiscal measures that include eliminating outstanding debt arrears, curbing anymore accumulation and restoring market confidence,” he said.
“He also talked about measures to attract investment and ease of doing business, as well as international engagement
especially with the Bretton Woods institutions, that is the World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).”
War Veterans minister Christopher Mutsvangwa and his Indigenisation counterpart Patrick Zhuwao have been at the forefront of attacking Chinamasa, coming barely short of accusing the Treasury chief of selling out to the country’s Western enemies.
“Chinamasa would not have gone to Lima (Peruvian capital, the host of IMF and WB annual general meetings a week ago). He would not have gone if the party and the government were against him. He has all the support he should have,” Khaya Moyo said.
Mutsvangwa, who also serves as chairman of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association, has been brutal in his assessment of Chinamasa’s efforts, at one time accusing the Finance minister of turning himself into an IMF spokesperson.
“It’s very unfortunate that a minister of the Zimbabwe government becomes a spokesperson of a multinational funding agency, which has got its body in Washington and answers to its shareholders also in Washington,” Mutsvangwa told South African TV news channel ANN7 last week.
“I want to put it on record he [Chinamasa] is not their spokesperson. I think he is now appropriating a role which does not belong to him and he should stop it. When IMF officials visited Zimbabwe, Chinamasa was blocking government officials and diplomats including myself from asking the IMF officials questions, and instead he was jumping around to answer for the IMF.”
The politburo meeting rubbed salt into Mutsvangwa’s wounds also, as First Lady Grace Mugabe issued a stern warning to war veterans that they faced discipline if they strayed, remarks many see as targeted at the War Veterans minister.
In Lima, Chinamasa requested a special meeting on the sidelines, where he tabled Zimbabwe’s plan to clear its $1,8 billion debt to the IMF, WB and the African Development Bank as well as new measures to resuscitate the country’s ailing economy.
Chinamasa has proposed wide-ranging reforms including reducing the civil service wage bill from the current 83% to less than 40% of the National Budget, which would translate into trimming the civil service by over half.