By Shingirai Vambe
Zimbabwe- Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube has been accused of turning his back on the economy that has seen the country’s local currency losing value and the inflation going over 1000 percent.
Last week Parliamentary sessions saw members asking for the minister to present a ministerial statement and a supplementary budget before Parliament closes.
Citizen for Coalition Change Legislator for Kuwadzana East, Charlton Hwende said the minister is now busy campaigning in Bulawayo forgetting his duty as Minister of Finance and wanted answers as MPs representing the disgruntled people of Zimbabwe.
Hwende brought to Parliament printed copies of salaries teachers, police officers and members of the National Army received, not enough even for transport to and from work.
“I rise over an issue that we deliberated on last week and there was a ruling. We appealed that the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Prof. M. Ncube should come and explain the salaries of civil servants and the price rise that are in the shops. When we talked about it, civil servants have not been paid. Soldiers and teachers were paid and they were paid same amounts that they were paid last month when the rate was ZW$900.00. The exchange rate has gone up,” Hwende said.
he added: “The majority of them are being affected by Nyaradzo. They charge their subscriptions in USD. So, they are saying USD20 times ZW$6 000 which is the interbank rate of ZW$5 000 and PSMAS collects its money. The Serjeant that I was talking to in Kuwadzana 2 said he was given ZWL68 994.90. In OK Kuwadzana it buys one full chicken and a kilogram of meat. He is expected to live for a month. I also met another police officer in Kuwadzana 3, who was paid ZWL62 115.31. That is what he was paid. This other one was given ZWL25 549.84 and that is what he was paid. As we requested last week, this is what people are being paid in this country. It is our plea…”
Hwende was interjected by Acting Speaker, Tatenda Mavetera, alleging that the printed copies were not authentic to bring forward to Parlimanet.
“Order Hon. Hwende. You once spoke about it and he said he would give evidence today. Thank you very much we have heard you, Give those papers to the Hansard so that we see the pay slips. Why are you muzzling me? I do not know whether that is authentic or it is something that you created. You must bring authentic things.” said Mavetera.
“I will not give you a chance because you may mislead the House without adequate evidence. Give it to the Hansard and we will verify. We are not debating this issue and I do not want to argue with you,” she added.
Hwende responded, “My plea is that the Minister of Finance and Economic Development should come. He is busy in Cowdry Park instead of coming here to answer issues. Last week on Tuesday, the Hon. Speaker said the Hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Prof. M. Ncube would come to give a State of the Economy Address. I want to move an order that we suspend the business of the day until the Minister appears before this House.”
State of the economy is deplorable and with prices of goods and services found beyond the reach of many.