THE opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has hit out at the ruling party Zanu PF for refusing to take responsibility for the cash crisis.
Cash shortages which worsened at the beginning of last year, continue with finance minister Patrick Chinamasa attributing the problem to illegal externalisation of the United States dollar.
As a mitigatory measure, government introduced bond notes pegged at par with the American dollar allowing situation to ease a bit. But five months after their introduction, long queues have resurfaced at banks.
PDP said government would find it difficult to address the challenges facing the country until it learns to face its shortfalls.
“We believe the biggest job in providing any solution starts with defining the problem correctly, on the issue of cash crisis in particular and many other challenges for that matter, Zanu PF have decided to misrepresent facts, in many instances trying to find someone to blame,” Jacob Mafume, PDP spokesperson, said this Tuesday.
“Chinamasa is creating this myth around people who come from Zimbabwe to withdraw huge sums of money and leave. Such kind of thinking defies basic financial economic logic which is the fact that all money is earned.”
As of this February, 88 million dollars’ worth of the $200 million Afreximbank-backed surrogate currency were in circulation. Chinamasa last week shot-down legislators suggestion to print more, insisting they have to be exports-based.
To save the economy from the effects of “a shrinking revenue base and a huge budget deficit of over 42 percent (which) Chinamasa sought to finance through the issuance of toxic Treasury Bills and the maintenance of an over-draft facility with the Reserve Bank”, the Tendai Biti-led PDP is proposing that government withdraw the bond notes.
“In the process of scrapping off these Bond Notes, the government must encourage the use of alternative money particularly debit cards, point of sell machines and RTGS facilities.
“The government must return the money they took from the RBZ because transfers of online money without real value will also not work.”
Mafume further advised government to allow market forces to prevail.
“Allow businesses to do what they know best which is to make money and government must stay away from coordination of the market but focus on the core business which is dealing with the welfare state, ensure even development and provision of social services,” he said.
“The government must allow people to work in productive sectors not in speculative industries of willy-dealing capital where you find Zanu PF linked cartels of tenderpreneurs.”
Other measures proposed include a tight fiscal schedule, improving production, reducing the cost of doing business and the creation of a Southern African monetary union in the long term.