Leonard Ncube and Blessings Chidakwa in Victoria Falls
FINANCE and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube has said Government is now living within its means and has not borrowed from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe in the last seven months.
Addressing a cross section of stakeholders at the 3rd Rural District Councils chairpersons’ conference here, Prof Ncube said budget overruns were a cancer that had affected Government for the past decade.
He said the Second Republic had managed to deal with the cancerous culture through the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) promulgated last year.
“Our first order of business was just to make sure that we eliminate one of the cancers that has bedevilled us over the last 10 years, that of budget overruns and Government not living within its limits and therefore causing fiscal deficits.
“I must say that we have stopped borrowing from the Central Bank and the last time I checked we were borrowing $3 billion from the Central Bank and we have stopped all that in the last seven months. If you check the bank balance now is zero,” said Prof Ncube.
The Finance Minister defended the removal of the multi-currency system saying the country needs a domestic currency so that it moves faster on its economic recovery path.
“On the issue of domestic currency, we introduced it so we move faster. It’s a journey which started in October 2018 and the goal is to stabilise currency,” he said.
He challenged rural district councils to take a leading stand in the country’s economic transformation agenda saying they look after about 70 percent of the population.
Prof Ncube called for broader citizen participation as enshrined in the vision 2030 which seeks to capacitate individuals to play a part.
He said to get to the upper middle class income status, the country needs foreign support hence re-engagement is key.
“We have to re-engage with the international community because we are not an island,” he said.
Prof Ncube encouraged RDCs to utilise capital funds allocated to them by the Central Government.
Speaking at the same occasion, Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando said RDCs have a critical role to play towards achieving Vision 2030, as most mining claims fall within their areas of jurisdiction.
He said the Mining industry had set target of achieving a $12 billion economy by 2030, hence the need for a collective approach from all sectors of the economy including local authorities.