‘Statutory Instruments Are For Protecting Our Economy, Politics’ – Mthuli

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By Bulawayo Correspondent

FINANCE Minister Mthuli Ncube has defended President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s repeated promulgation of statutory instruments (SIs) as a way of addressing multiple economic and political challenges facing the country.

Last year, Mnangagwa’s administration promulgated a record 300 SIs, and in the process, violated laid down procedures on most of the subsidiary laws.

This year, the government has also gazetted a couple of SIs with the latest being the controversial SI 127 of 2021.

The new law has already triggered massive price hikes for most goods and services in the country.

However, addressing journalists at the Bulawayo Media Centre Thursday, Ncube admitted a lot of people have confronted him voicing their concerns over the continued introduction of SIs.

“I have heard some people saying; ‘Minister there are too many SIs in this country’. You know what it is colleagues? When a government or policymakers are reforming an economy, a lot of SIs will be issued because you are fine-turning,” he said.

“When you are reforming, you change to ensure compliance. You issue an SI and then you fine-tune, and then you issue another one until you reach a point where there are fewer and fewer SIs,” said Ncube.

The minister went on to claim, however, that there had been a reduction in the introduction of SIs in the last six months.

“Have you noticed that in the last six months there have been fewer SIs? Has anyone noticed? Please count, you will find out that over time when policymakers feel we are getting to the goal, there are always fewer SIs because SIs are about reforms.

“Whenever you see us issuing SIs here and there, we just want to make things work better. We would like to see a well-functional economy.”

However, legal experts have accused the Executive of abusing the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act by routinely bypassing parliament and introducing the controversial SIs.

Ncube was in Bulawayo for the Bulawayo Arts Festival where Mnangagwa was the guest-of-honour.