PDP savages mid-term fiscal review

Former Finance minister Tendai Biti

THE People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has demanded Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa’s immediate resignation, accusing the Zanu PF top official of admitting to mismanaging the country’s economy through his midterm fiscal policy review statement last Thursday.

In his statement, Chinamasa reinforced a government wage freeze, predicted a 2017 gross domestic product growth rate of 3,7 percent and further revealed a debt overhang of US$11,3 billion with the external debt hovering at 7,3 billion.

The treasury boss ignored the existence, let alone the impact of high level corruption on the country’s comatose economy. He further revealed government has over spent by close to a billion.

But PDP led by ex-finance minister Tendai Biti shredded the midterm statement, likening it to “an insult to the aspirations of Zimbabweans and a reason why the masses must be angry”.

“The statement is an unsolicited guilty plea entered before the accusations of mediocrity and habitual dereliction of duty are pressed,” party spokesperson Jacob Mafume said in a statement.

“The Minister of Finance has redefined failure, the failure to respond to the challenges the economy is facing.”

Mafume said statistics presented in the midterm statement were “appalling”.

“… Paying a Minister of Finance whose term is just but a redefinition of failure can only happen under a Zanu PF government, Zimbabweans must be angry.

“That the budget deficit is widening is a cause for concern, it is a threat with potential to cause fiscal implosion.”

PDP further predicted a major debt crisis after Chinamasa revealed the country owed US$11,3 billion in terms of both external and domestic debts.

The internal obligations include the half a billion dollars inherited by government from the RBZ.

PDP says this was a reflection of the “dangers that quasi-fiscal activities pose on an economy, sadly Chinamasa’s approach is a return to similar malpractices”.

The opposition party also slammed government for what it said was the country’s return to its extra-legal activities as well as borrowing from the domestic market through the issuance of “toxic treasury bills and bonds amounting to 40% of GDP”.

“Chinamasa’s belief that rules of economics can be rigged is a major contribution to the fiscal crisis in Zimbabwe, it has created a crippling crisis which has seen the few existing companies lose millions in hours spend by employees in banking queues.

“Machine gun kind of reactions including drastic withdrawal limits, creation of bond notes have also sent distorted signals into the market resulting in inflation,” said PDP. – NewZim