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Mthuli must resign now, Biti

Tendai Biti

MDC top politician, Tendai Biti says Mthuli Ncube should apologise to Zimbabweans and gracefully resign as Finance Minister after almost single-handedly messing up the national economy through a slew of policy somersaults that have hallmarked his disastrous tenure as Treasury boss.

Debating in Parliament Thursday, Biti also warned Ncube over dollarising Zimbabwe’s economy through the “back door”.

This week, the government announced it would pay all civil servants US$75 as Covid-19 allowance, which according to Biti was effectively dollarising.

However, Biti still insisted Ncube had failed.

“It is our contention, Mr. Speaker, that the Minister of Finance owes Zimbabweans an apology that he should not introduce dollarisation through the back; that he should repeal Statutory Instrument 33 and Statutory Instrument 142 and the Finance Act,” said the former Finance Minister who is also MDC Alliance co-vice president.

“The minister has failed in absolute terms and must resign. We are gravely concerned about the continuous shifting of our Monetary Policy. We are concerned particularly about the constant changes to our Monetary Policy,”

Biti said back in 2009, the country introduced a basket of multiple currencies.

“The basket of multiple currencies lasted until 2016, when in November 2016, the Bond Note was introduced through amendments that were made to the Reserve Bank Act.

“In 2017, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and the Ministry of Finance spent the bulk of the year convincing Zimbabweans that the Bond Note was on par with the US dollar. They ran an expensive campaign called Operation Gedye Gedye, persuading the people of Zimbabwe to accept that the bond note was equal to the US dollar.”

Biti said Zimbabweans were shocked when on 1 October 2018, banks suddenly advised the RBZ in an exchange directive that they had to separate their accounts into Nostro Foreign Currency Accounts (FCAs) and Nostro RTGS.

“We were further shocked when on the 20th of February 2019, Statutory Instrument 33 of 2019 was introduced which said we have a new currency called the RTGS, which initially was at 1:1 then 1:2.5 and then was floated.

“In June of 2019, we were advised by the esteemed Minister of Finance that the country had dedollarised; that the regime of multiple currencies was no longer legal tender in Zimbabwe; that the Zimbabwean dollar had been restored as the sole currency in this country.

“Some people protested and made the point that the country was not ready to introduce its own currency. We made the point that conditions did not exist for the introduction of our own currency,” said the Harare East legislator.

Biti told the House that Zimbabweans were left confused Wednesday when Ncube effectively dedollarised through introduction of a US$75 allowance for civil servants and US$30 for government pensioners.

“Mr. Speaker Sir, the Minister of Finance has failed in absolute terms and must resign,” he said.


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