Sunday, 11 November 2018

I WILL NOT ANSWER BACKWARD LOOKING QUESTIONS : NCUBE


With the economy in a tailspin, Finance minister Mthuli Ncube’s role has become ever so important, but instead of being accessible, he has shied away from the media.

In the past few weeks, his ministry has been engulfed in controversy, more so the communications task force led by Acie Lumumba, but instead of steadying the ship, Ncube has been eerily silent.

In an effort to get to the bottom of these issues, The Standard sent Ncube a list of questions and, predictably, he didn’t answer, instead he said the questions were backward-looking.

Below are the questions.

     How would you describe your first two months as Finance minister?
     Having been away from Zimbabwe for over a decade, were you prepared for the challenges that you are facing in your new role and did anything surprise you?
     What is your assessment of the austerity measures you introduced a month ago?
     President Emmerson Mnangagwa hinted recently that the 2% tax on electronic transactions would be reviewed. What will that entail?
     What is the government’s response to demands by civil servants to be paid in foreign currency?
     Before your appointment, you were clear that bond notes must be scrapped, do you still hold the same view?
     How sustainable is the government’s position that bond notes are 1:1 to the US dollar when the market is saying otherwise?
     The majority of privately- owned health providers, including pharmacies, are now only accepting US$, leaving many people without access to drugs and medicines. What is the government doing to help those that can’t afford?
     When is Zimbabwe likely to get the guarantee from Afreximbank for the conversion of the real time gross settlement balances?
     Why are details of the Afreximbank facilities not being made public for transparency?
     Is your ministry considering making public details of how the government accumulated billions of dollars in debt through treasury bills?
     Zanu PF has in the past insisted that the party is supreme to government. How will you relate with that since you are not a ruling party member?
     How do you intend to restore confidence in the economy following years of mismanagement and policy inconsistencies?
     Do you foresee Zimbabwe having its own currency in the near future and what needs to be done in the short-term to achieve that?
     How is the government reacting to claims made by Acie Lumumba who alleged that there are cartels abusing government institutions and driving the foreign currency parallel market?
      What is your reaction to claims that you paid Lumumba to make those claims?

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