Mthuli Ncube: Zimbabwe shock as finance minister named Africa’s best

Mthuli Ncube: Zimbabwe shock as finance minister named Africa's best

Controversy surrounds the award as Zimbabwe faces economic turmoil

Zimbabweans are expressing astonishment and disbelief after Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube was named “Best African Finance Minister of the Year” by Reputation Poll International. This recognition comes amidst the country’s ongoing economic turmoil, with an unemployment rate as high as 85% and a lack of confidence in the local currency. While Ncube sees the award as validation for his economic management, many Zimbabweans view it as a joke and an insult. This article delves into the controversy surrounding the award and examines the state of Zimbabwe’s economy under Ncube’s leadership.

Economic Turmoil in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe’s economic struggles have been ongoing for decades, with the country’s currency, the Zimbabwe dollar, being withdrawn in 2009 due to hyperinflation. The mismanagement of the ruling Zanu-PF party, under both Robert Mugabe and President Emmerson Mnangagwa, has been widely criticized. The inflation rate reached a staggering 231 million percent, leading to prices changing by the hour. Western countries have imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe, but critics argue that the ruling party’s mismanagement is the primary cause of the country’s economic woes.

The Award and Public Reaction

Reputation Poll International, an organization specializing in managing reputations, awarded Mthuli Ncube the title of “Best African Finance Minister of the Year.” While Ncube expressed delight and saw the award as recognition for his economic transformation efforts, many Zimbabweans reacted with astonishment and criticism. Some compared the award to applauding a captain for steering a ship into an iceberg, highlighting the disconnect between the accolade and the reality on the ground.

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Criticisms of Ncube’s Policies

The recent budget presented by Ncube has faced intense scrutiny and backlash. Activist Hopewell Chin’ono labeled it as the most anti-people national budget Zimbabwe has ever had. The budget includes tax increases and a significant hike in passport fees, making it the most expensive in the region. Chin’ono accused Ncube of presiding over the worst economy in the world due to misguided and corrupt policies.

Zimbabwe’s Economic Challenges

Zimbabwe’s economic challenges extend beyond high unemployment and a lack of confidence in the local currency. The country’s reliance on US dollars for transactions, estimated at 80%, reflects a lack of trust in the stability of the Zimbabwean currency. This lack of confidence hampers economic growth and exacerbates the financial struggles faced by ordinary Zimbabweans.

Political Developments and By-Elections

Over the weekend, Zimbabwe held controversial by-elections following the recall of MPs from the main opposition party, Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC). The ruling Zanu-PF party won seven out of nine by-elections but fell short of the two-thirds parliamentary majority required to change the constitution. These political developments further contribute to the complex landscape in which Ncube operates as finance minister.

Conclusion:

The award bestowed upon Mthuli Ncube as “Best African Finance Minister of the Year” has sparked controversy and disbelief in Zimbabwe. While Ncube sees it as recognition for his economic management, many Zimbabweans view it as disconnected from the reality of their daily struggles. The country’s economic turmoil, high unemployment rate, and lack of confidence in the local currency paint a different picture of the state of Zimbabwe’s economy. As the ruling party faces political challenges and criticism, the road to economic recovery remains uncertain.

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