Mthuli Ncube voted best African Finance Minister of the year

By Caleb Chikwawawa

Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube was recognised as African Finance Minister of the year for using Zimbabwe’s scant resources to deal with the Covid-19 rampage in the country.

The award was presented at the 2023 Global Reputation Forum held in the House of Lords in Central London.

The surprise recognition was attributed to his efforts towards Zimbabwe’s ability to use its resources to fight and contain the Covid-19 pandemic.

Reputation Poll International Chairman, Lord Waverly said while presenting Ncube with the award that Zimbabwe ranked high for recording a comparative minimum in terms of deaths related by the global pandemic.

“In today’s rapidly evolving financial landscape, the convergence of technology and banking has given rise to a new era of financial management challenges and the Zimbabwean Minister, with a shoe-string budget, managed to fight the Covid-19 pandemic with the Government and country recording minimal Covid-19 related deaths,” he said.

Ncube, on his part, said, “The Zimbabwean economy has steadily grown, while critical infrastructure had been improved under the Second Republic, even under economic sanctions.”

The awarding of a Treasury boss who is unpopular for barren fiscal policies in his own homeland was criticised by his predecessor Tendai Biti.

“Of all economic indices, there is one thing that doesn’t lie; it is the exchange rate. The exchange rate tells you whether the economy is performing well, whether the stewardship of the economy is in good hands.”

Former economics lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe said the award was misplaced as Ncube has presided over a broken economy in the country.

“If you look at his track record, first of all, the quantitative targets in the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) were not met,” he said.

“Secondly, since he has been Minister of Finance, we have had the World’s second or third highest rate of inflation. We have moved from a very low rate of inflation to a very high rate.

“Thirdly, the value of the currency when he took over was theoretically US100 cents; that is what the Zimbabwean dollar was worth. Today. It’s worth less than one US cent.

“We have seen a rise in poverty, we have seen a rise in unemployment.

“So, I think the guys who decided that his policies were working either didn’t know what they were talking about or think it’s probably the truth or were making premature judgements.”

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