Mthuli Ncube is probably in a better position to understand that Zimbabweans are a tough crowd to please, much of this owing to polarised politics.
Despite all the challenges that he has faced in his job in his personal capacity and as minister of finance Professor Mthuli Ncube has help his own and the numbers don’t lie.
ZIMBABWE’S economy is on a recovery trajectory and for the first time in many years, the country is clawing back to solid growth, having exhibited higher resilience to recent unforeseen shocks, including the latest outbreak of Covid-19.
According to official estimates, the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, a major global economic indicator, is expected to hit 7,8 percent by the end of this year, slightly above earlier estimates of 7,4 percent.
Speak to SABC news when asked to juxtapose his observation and the claims made by President Mnangagwa that the Zimbabwean Economy was on the mend. Renowned economist Eddie Cross praised the stance taken by the Zimbabwean President to appoint Mthuli Ncube as finance minister. Cross praised Mthuli Ncube’s transitional stabilisation program and pointed to it as a turning point.
Commenting on the economy and the Prof Ncube said the reform factor has played a critical role in bringing about desired macro-economic stability in the face of all the highlighted shocks.
“We didn’t have monetary policy in the country before February 2019, what we had was fiscal policy only. So, we were walking on one leg and by introducing a domestic currency and the monetary policy committee in 2019, we introduced a second and necessary leg for macro-economic policy,” he explained.
“As I speak, we can do monetary targeting, we can even eventually do inflation targeting. We have a proper policy and…but that needed to occur within an environment of a balanced budget, fiscal stability and discipline, which was the first order of business in 2018.”
While acknowledging public outcry over price escalation amid parallel market exchange rate distortion and erosion of incomes, Prof Ncube said the future was bright, and assured citizens that authorities were taking necessary steps to arrest speculative indiscipline and enhancing the value of the local currency to restore consumer purchasing power.
Moving into year 2022, Prof Ncube said the economy was expected to grow just above five percent. He said the indicators were again positive based on projected normal to above normal rains, which augers well for the agriculture sector, the mainstay of the country’s economy.
He hoped that global commodity prices will also remain strong due to recovery in the global economy.
“As long as agriculture remains strong this year into next year, that again will boost other sectors in terms of aggregate demand right across. Inflation is falling because the exchange rate is stable due to the foreign currency auction,” said Prof Ncube.
“But it’s also stable because of other factors we put in place like fiscal discipline, monetary sector discipline and the auction as a price discovery process and a strong balance of payment.
“Our current account is in positive territory right now and that is pleasing and all our fundamentals are pointing to a strong direction and that’s the state of the economy.”