Zimbabwe’s minister of Finance and Economic Development, professor Mthuli Ncube was recently criticised by Parliamentarians for failing to monitor some government departments.
He was criticised after he had confessed ignorance over reports that the Central Vehicle Registration (CVR) department was not accepting the local currency in favour of the United States dollars.
MDC Alliance and Mbizo MP Settlement Chikwinya had asked the minister to clarify if CVR’s actions had been sanctioned by treasury. Chikwinya said:
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The minister speaks of a dual regime of accepting RTGS and the US dollar. Government departments, in particular the Ministry of Transport through the CVR, is refusing to accept RTGS even at the interbank rate for purposes of paying for number plates.
Is it your instruction that a government department refuses to accept RTGS, our own local currency?
Ncube said it was not his instruction prompting MDC Alliance MP for Kambuzuma, Willias Madzimure to challenge the minister over his ignorace. He said:
The minister has said he is ignorant of what is happening at a government institution. CVR is a government institution that works hand-in-glove with the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA).
Is the minister really ignorant that CVR is refusing people to pay in RTGS and they are accepting only US dollars? As a Member of Parliament, I actually paid in US dollars and I was denied the right to use RTGS. Is the minister saying he is not aware and does not know what is happening in his department because this was a policy decision that was made? Is he saying CVR made its own unilateral decision?
This comes when foreign currency is very scarce in the country due to limited exports.