Temba Mliswa tells Mthuli Ncube don’t lie about recovery, people are suffering





Independent legislator Temba Mliswa today implored Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube to come up with true statistics on the recovery of the economy because people were suffering and could not afford school fees or a proper meal.

He told Parliament today that while he appreciated the roads and the airports being built, people in the rural areas, who are the majority, did not fly so this was insignificant to them.

“Bread and butter issues are important to build the economy at the end of the day.  While I appreciate the infrastructure, it means nothing when the people on the ground are suffering and cannot afford school fees and a proper meal,” Mliswa said.

“It is important that true records and statistics are brought into this House on what is on the ground but not what is in Harare and what you discuss at Cabinet and so on.  We become helpless as an institution on our role of oversight.”

The Norton legislator said Ncube could not say that Zimbabwe was doing well when the Zimbabwe dollar was trading at $150 top the greenback and not the $80 plus at the auction.

“The truth of the matter is that it is the US Dollar that dictates the market.  So, whilst you are paid in RTGS and the so called 80 plus does not apply, what is applicable is the $150.  How then can we say people are doing well when the auction rate on the parallel market is as good as 100% in terms of the difference?” he asked.

“So it is important to get the Minister to come with true statistics on the situation on the ground.  Members of Parliament here will agree with me that what we are told here and what is on the ground are two different things.”

Full contribution:

HON. T. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, my point of national interest is on unreliable statistics that we get from ministries.  Mr. Speaker Sir, the Zimbabwe Vulnerable Assessment Committee (ZimVAC) statistics on the provision of food to the insecure households:  in 2019, it was 30%, in 2020 it has gone up to 43%.  From 30% to 43%; this exposes that the so called economy which is said to be blossoming is not as a result of these statistics.  Why are we being given statistics which are not a true record of what is happening on the ground?

This is a programme which the World Food Programme (WFP) does, working with other donor organisations like the Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere (CARE) and they are looking at distributing food to the insecure households.  Mr. Speaker Sir, I am bringing this up because the issue of Ministers not bringing correct information is really treacherous because we are said to have a surplus yet the domestic is blossoming, so is the external debt.  I say so because the issue of the parallel market exchange rate right now is at 1:150 and the RBZ auction rate is 1:80.

The truth of the matter is that it is the US Dollar that dictates the market.  So, whilst you are paid in RTGS and the so called 80 plus does not apply, what is applicable is the $150.  How then can we say people are doing well when the auction rate on the parallel market is as good as 100% in terms of the difference?  So it is important to get the Minister to come with true statistics on the situation on the ground.  Members of Parliament here will agree with me that what we are told here and what is on the ground are two different things.

THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Mliswa, you are now debating.

HON. T. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, may I implore the Minister of Finance to come with true statistics on the recovery of the economy.  We appreciate the roads and the airports being built but the people in the rural areas, who are the majority, do not fly and it is insignificant to them.  Bread and butter issues are important to build the economy at the end of the day.  While I appreciate the infrastructure, it means nothing when the people on the ground are suffering and cannot afford school fees and a proper meal.  It is important that true records and statistics are brought into this House on what is on the ground but not what is in Harare and what you discuss at Cabinet and so on.  We become helpless as an institution on our role of oversight.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

Source: The Insider