By Alois Vinga
ZIMBABWE’S business executives have endorsed Professor Mthuli Ncube’s Friday appointment as Finance Minister with some hoping he leveraged from his education and vast experience in world business to end the country’s dire economic situation.
The 55-year-old academic takes over from Patrick Chinamasa who did not get any portfolio in the latest cabinet appointments.
Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries president Sifelani Jabangwe said the new minister was rightly placed for the job.
“As industry, this is a welcome move which has seen a technocrat ascending to the position,” he said.
“We also feel confident to be working with an intellectual who is well versed with matters of finance and we expect to be bringing relevant networks through various organisations he has rubbed shoulders with both locally and abroad.”
Renowned economist, Aenias Chuma said Ncube was “a very good duck with concrete and traceable experience in the academic and finance sector”.
“I see him capable of making good changes which will positively influence the rest of the cabinet. He also has the capacity to create opportunities for investment and better conditions for doing business in Zimbabwe and this makes him a better option given the times the country is going through,” he said.
Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce, past president, Divine Ndhlukula was full of Mnangagwa praise for appointing Ncube to one of the country’s most important ministries.
“I would also like to believe that he (Ncube) could not just leave his foreign job and opt for the post without making it clear that he is a no nonsense chap. Indeed this is the first step in the country’s journey to openness for business,” she remarked.
Godfrey Kanyenze, the Labour and Economics Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe director said Ncube was “the right man for the job” as he was both experienced in finance and was educated.
“The other opportunities we stand to benefit from his appointment is that he has already made his money in life; he is very successful and highly honest,” he said.
Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers president, Denford Mutashu said Ncube was right for the job as he had a lot of international finance and trade experience.
Ncube has long history in the finance, academic and economic related disciplines.
He has served as a lecturer in finance at the London School of Economics, UK before joining the Africa Development Bank where he served as vice president and Chief Economic Officer.
Ncube is Professor of Public Policy at Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford, where he has been teaching and researching in the areas on macroeconomics, finance, development economics, political economy, and health economics.
He has served as Vice President and Chief Economist of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB), among other top posts he has occupied.