By Idah Mhetu
AN off-hand comment regarding the local RTGS currency, by President Emmerson Mnangagwa has left the country’s biggest opposition party, the MDC fuming.
Mnangagwa told victims of Cyclone Idai in Manicaland, that he had received UD$2.5 million in aid for the flood victims from US President Donald Trump through the American embassy in Harare.
The President added: “I am talking about $2.5 million of real money not RTGSs.” And the MDC in a statement at the weekend said Mnangagwa’s joke was in bad taste.
“We find it unacceptable for Mnangagwa to insult a currency which he imposed on the people and legislated through the back door by way of an unconstitutional statutory instrument,” the opposition party said in a statement.
“He (Mnangagwa) is not only responsible for its creation but the fundamentals around it both the objective, circumstances (the trade position or the relationship between exports and imports) and the subjective (the social contract or its absence thereof).”
According to the statement released Saturday, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor John Mangudya’s February Monetary Policy Statement was contradictory and retrogressive.
“Zimbabweans are paying the price. The exchange rate is collapsing every day, the price of the US dollar continues to firm against the fictitious RTGS dollar.
“It is fictitious both by definition and by reality; sadly ED Mnangagwa is creating jokes around it,” the MDC said.
“He (Mnangagwa) flanks himself with his chief economic aides – John Mangudya and (Finance Minister) Mthuli Ncube to make terrible economic decisions which worsen the suffering of the citizens.”
Former Finance Minister Tendai Biti, on Wednesday advised the government to address “its messy monetary policy situation.” Biti added that the new currency is not backed by anything given the general low production levels in the economy.
“You are either a fool or drunk to introduce a currency when we have huge appetite for foreign products.
“We need to dollarise the economy and scrap the RTGS dollar,” Biti fumed while giving a lecture at the British Council.
According to the MDC, the Apex Bank should stop allocations of foreign currency to key sectors of the economy including fuel procurement.
“We made the point that the monetary policy should have removed the role of RBZ in allocating funds for fuel. The fuel industry has the capacity to import on its own and shortages would not be an issue,” the opposition party argued adding: “Mangudya and Mthuli must resign. The country requires genuine structural reforms. Sadly and strangely, the man who pretends to be doing this work is celebrating turning the nation into beggars.”