Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa yesterday came under fire over the endless cash crisis and his failure to rein in illegal money changers.
ZANU PF MPs grilled Minister Chinamasa for failing to provide solutions to the cash crisis.
Among those who asked hardest hitting questions during yesterday’s question and answer session was ZANU PF legislators, most of whom lost the ruling party’s primary elections like John Holder (Zvishavane Ngezi), Irene Zindi (Mutasa South) and David Chapfika (Mutoko South)
Their opposition counterparts also put the Finance minister to task over similar issues.
First to raise the matter in Parliament was Hon. Holder who asked the Minister to update the House on the cash flow problems, five months after the new government came into power. In his response, Minister Chinamasa acknowledged that Government was seized with the matter but indicated that the cash crisis could not be resolved overnight.
In a supplementary question Hon. Zindi said, “It boggles the mind, looking at the laxity by government, to take action on money changers in every city, and what is the policy decision that the Finance minister will take to curb the illegal money deals?”
Minister Chinamasa skirted the issue and said the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe was in the process of authorising bureau de changes.
He said cash shortages were being caused by low exports and not necessarily the money changers.
Hon. James Maridadi (MDC-T Mabvuku-Tafara ) said Minister Chinamasa could easily deploy the police to arrest the money changers.
As Minister Chinamasa continued being technical and talking about exports, Hon. Chapfika then blasted him saying: “What we are discussing here is an important issue and you are hiding behind a finger and becoming technical. In other words, the Minister is condoning the practice of illegal cash deals on the basis of technical issues of demand and supply.”
In response, Minister Chinamasa said Zimbabwe had shifted to a cashless society, hence, the need for most transactions to be done electronically without resorting to hard cash.
Minister Chinamasa said point-of-sale machines had increased from 40 000 to 120 000, adding that soon, it would be a requirement for everyone in business to transact using the gadgets.