By Anna Chibamu
ZIMBABWEANS have little or no confidence in their government and in particular the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) as well as the country’s financial system, a Zanu PF MP has said.
Zvimba North MP, Marian Chombo a member of the Energy and Power Development Parliamentary Committee in an angry rant, said the RBZ has failed the nation.
She said this while grilling Energy Minister, Fortune Chasi and RBZ Governor, John Mangudya who were giving oral evidence before the committee regarding current power and fuel shortages in the country.
“Right now we are holding the US$ in our homes, why? Because we do not have confidence in you the Central Bank. The community sees you as the ones letting it down. You introduce instruments or policies but you do not implement them,” said Chombo.
She said Mangudya and his team at the RBZ, were in the dark as regards the parallel market which has spiraled out of control.
“The RBZ is taking about the RTGS$1.6 Billion on the market and you do not even know who is holding that money. You do not even know who is fueling the black market, yet we are all supposed to look up to you the central bank,” said Chombo as a bemused Mangudya looked on.
She added: “We get new notes on the black market. Last week there were new Bond Notes on the black market. If I go to the bank today, I cannot even access RTGS$200 or less in Bond Notes and you are the custodian of the bond note. You do not even know who is fueling the black market but you expect us to have confidence in you.
“Can we tighten and implement our policies if we are to change this country into a better economy.”
In response, Mangudya said the basis of Chombo’s outbursts was not true.
“Your nostro accounts in the bank are safe. The fuel issue is only a symptom of a bigger issue. What you have said is wrong. On tobacco issue, we have deposited US$48 million in the nostro accounts for farmers last week.
“The tobacco supply has gone up in the past four weeks, compared to that sold last year the same time.Why you find bond notes on the black market is that we pay farmers in bond notes, you are being paid in bond notes do you want your Central Bank Governor to go and check on everyone being paid?” Mangudya shot back.
“Sometimes we are stooping so low. We are sometimes thinking so low. If you have someone you know please bring that person to me.”
Kuwadzana MP, Charlton Hwende weighed in arguing some MPs were paid in new notes after a seminar in Bulawayo. But Mangudya retorted: “We give new notes as central bank when we issue money,” said Mangudya.
However, another committee member Magwegwe MP, Anele Ndebele attributed the country’s economic problems to politics.
“The bull in the room is politics,” said Ndebele.