Opposition members of parliament have criticised the recent suspension of bank lending by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The legislators expressed their frustrations over the measures after Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube presented his state of the economy address in the National Assembly where he defended the interventions.
Former finance minister and Harare East legislator Tendai Biti (CCC) said that the ban on bank lending was unconstitutional. Biti said:
Honourable minister, the statement you have just presented lacks parliament’s legal backing.
The ban imposed on the extension of lending by banks must be reversed. It is unconstitutional.
There is also interference with the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) which lost US$3 billion in three days. The ZSE has been crippled, the banking sector has been crippled too.
These developments signal the government’s introduction of yet another exchange rate which is not welcome.
Honestly, how can a country survive this kind of pricing system? Float the Zimbabwe dollar. It will stabilise.
Glenview North Legislator Fani Munengami (MDC Alliance) demanded that Ncube addresses the issues that were raised by legislators. He said:
Minister, why are you going round and round. Respond to what we asked for. People have one issue.
They want food on the table, rentals and be able to pay their children’s fees.
Norton legislator Temba Mliswa (Independent) demanded the retraction of the President’s announcement. Said Mliswa:
There is a need for retraction. Some of the policies by the government have a negative impact on the people. All confidence is gone.
Meanwhile, the government gazetted a statutory instrument officialising Mnangagwa’s measures on Friday.
Statutory Instrument (SI) 96 of 2022 repealed section 22 G of the Finance Act to legalise the changes regarding the intermediated money transfer tax (IMTT) and cash withdrawals.