Mthuli Ncube disputes Mnangagwa economic hitmen conspiracy

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By Anna Chibamu

FINANCE minister Mtuli Ncube has said the current economic crisis rocking the country is a result of global upheavals, effectively disputing his principal, President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s claim that the calamity was a result of efforts by economic saboteurs angling to topple him.

Mnangagwa, in a statement Sunday, said the current economic quagmire was being caused by his enemies whom he referred to as “economic hitmen”.

He even introduced a raft of measures which he claimed were targeted at stopping his adversaries in their tracks.

However, presenting a ministerial statement on the state of the economy in the National Assembly Thursday, Ncube said the economic woes – underlined by runaway inflation, rocketing prices of goods and services and dwindling incomes – does not have anything to do with any economic hitmen.

He said the current economic carnage was a reflection of seismic global economic upheavals, mainly occasioned by the on-going armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

“There is tension around the world currently and this has resulted in a disruption of the global economic chain, affecting its growth,” Ncube said.

“The global economic growth forecast of 4,4% for 2022 has been revised to 3,6%. Global tension has seen energy prices skyrocketing. As we know, Russia contributes 19% of the blend and crude oil. Prices of oil are now US$129 per barrel and this has resulted in increased inflation,” he said.

“In Zimbabwe the global markets have affected fuel prices where a litre of petrol now costs US$1,75. In the United States of America, there have been increases in interest rates by at least 8,6%. All these have caused an increase in prices of goods and services globally,” Ncube said.

Ncube also claimed Zimbabwe was suffering from the effects of what he termed a ‘global spiral’ caused by the importation of global inflation in most economies, especially emerging ones such as Zimbabwe.

“Typically, other markets fall in such nations,” added Ncube.

Among measures to curtail inflation and exchange rates, Ncube said, multiple currency regime will continue, saying Treasury would soon start paying government expenses in foreign currency.