Zimbabwe’s finance minister will unveil economic programme to reverse years of decline

18 September 2018 - 12:38 By Ray Ndlovu
Zimbabwean finance minister Mthuli Ncube will outline Zimbabwe‘s fiscal and monetary policies.
Zimbabwean finance minister Mthuli Ncube will outline Zimbabwe‘s fiscal and monetary policies.
Image: Philimon Bulawayo/Reuters

Just a week into his new post as Zimbabwe’s finance minister‚ Mthuli Ncube is working on a transitional stabilisation programme‚ which he expects to unveil next month.

An economist by training‚ Ncube said: “We are on top of this‚” as the administration of President Emmerson Mnangagwa seeks to reverse years of economic shrinkage.

The programme‚ he said‚ would outline Zimbabwe‘s fiscal and monetary policies and its plan to clear its arrears to the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

Ncube told journalists at a media briefing in Harare on Tuesday that the programme he was working on would be the driver of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s economic plan to turn Zimbabwe into a middle-income country by 2030.

“Vision 2030 is achievable‚ but we need to pursue fiscal consolidation‚” Ncube said.

The southern African country is battling an economic crunch marked by a severe US dollar shortage‚ high state expenditure at 97% of monthly revenues and a drying up of lines of credit for nearly two decades.

Ncube is set to make a bid to the international financial institutions at the next IMF and World Bank meetings set to take place in Bali‚ Indonesia.

He said the “world was waiting” to hear what Zimbabwe‘s economic reforms would have.

Ncube said former colonial master Britain had been supportive all the way and had helped set up important international meetings.

Britain’s outgoing ambassador to Zimbabwe‚ Catriona Laing‚ said the country supported Zimbabwe’s attempts to re-engage with the international community.

”There has been a bilateral programme that has been running since 2009 and Britain has been in support of various activities... for lines of credit to flow in there has to be an encouraging economic environment for the private sector‚” she said.

Meanwhile‚ Mnangagwa is set to make a debut address later this month at the UN General Assembly where he is likely to make a call for an end to the isolation of the country.