Wednesday, 11 May 2016

CHINAMASA DEFENDS BOND NOTES

Government has defended the envisaged introduction of bond notes as announced by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe saying the development would help stabilise the economy.
Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa, said Government was fully behind the announcements by RBZ Governor, Dr John Mangudya, saying there were adequate consultations on the matter.

He said this in the National Assembly during a Questions without Notice session yesterday, when legislators sought to know the implications of the statement by Dr Mangudya.

Zanu-PF MP for Harare East, Cde Terrence Mukupe, first asked for clarification on the five percent incentive for exporters whether middlemen would also benefit from the scheme.
“We are targeting producers who are producing for exports not middle people,” said Minister Chinamasa.

“In this regard I can give as an example, we are talking of gold miners and tobacco farmers. Those who are going to earn foreign currency for this country stand to benefit.”

MDC-T legislator for Kuwadzana East, Mr Nelson Chamisa, followed up demanding to know whether the Central Bank was allowed to announce introduction of bond notes arguing that it was a prerogative of Minister Chinamasa who was expected to bring the issue to Parliament first.

However, Minister Chinamasa said there was consensus between the Central Bank and his ministry adding that they respected each other’s boundaries.

“You must not forget that what triggered the measures announced last week was a cash crisis, which has to do with monetary authorities,” said Minister Chinamasa.

“If there is no money in the bank, it is not the minister who should announce measures to deal with those issues. It is the Governor because he is dealing with financial system of payments. That is exactly what the Governor did. In respect of those measures they come after fullest consultations between monetary and fiscal authorities. It’s a purely monetary issue.”

Minister Chinamasa implored legislators to look at the measures on their merits instead of being suspicious.

However, Mr Chamisa insisted that what Dr Mangudya did was illegal prompting Minister Chinamasa to invite the former for a legal battle in court.

Minister Chinamasa reiterated that the bond notes would be backed by a $200 million loan facility from the Afriexim bank.

“That facility is an overdraft. We don’t come to Parliament for overdrafts. No illegality has been committed. No unlawfully action has been done.

“Whatever the Governor has done, has been done within the law. It is up to the honourable member if he feels that any of those measures can be challenged in court, we will meet there,” said Minister Chinamasa.

He said Government was also putting mechanisms in place to stop externalisation of money by promoting usage of locally-produced goods.

Meanwhile, Energy and Power Development Minister Samuel Undenge, allayed fears that the Kariba Dam wall would collapse saying the dam went through regular routine monitoring and maintenance under the auspices of the Zambezi River Authority.

He was responding to Zanu-PF MP for Zhombe, Cde Daniel Mackenzie Ncube, who wanted the minister to clarify claims that the wall could collapse.

MDC-T MP, Mr Fani Munengami, also asked Primary and Secondary Education Deputy Minister Professor Paul Mavima, to confirm whether Government had ordered that teachers wear uniforms.

The claims have been making rounds mainly on social media, but Prof Mavhima dismissed the claims saying the only dress code for teachers was formal wear.

Meanwhile, Vice President Emerson Mnangagwa reiterated that Government did not discriminate people based on political party affiliation when distributing food aid.

He was responding to claims by MDC-T MP that their members were being denied food aid.
“This year we will not harvest adequate yields but we have mobilised enough to cater for our people. Some of the maize is actually being shipped as we speak while the other consignments are at Beira. Trains are actually transporting that maize.

“If there are areas where you know there is urgent need, advise us, we have a rapid reaction team to address those issues.

“But everyone who is facing hunger has a right to be given food in every village and it is being done transparently. Government does not discriminate when giving food handouts,” said VP Mnangagwa. herald

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