VP grilled over bond notes hearings

HARARE - Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa were yesterday grilled in Parliament over bond notes-public hearings, which legislators say should have been done before the introduction of the surrogate currency.

This comes as the portfolio committee on Finance on Monday began public consultations on the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Amendment Bill.

During yesterday’s national assembly question and answer session, Movement for Democratic Change members of Parliament (MPs) demanded to know whether it was still necessary and prudent for President Robert Mugabe’s government to “waste” taxpayers’ money on the hearings when the bonds notes were already in circulation.

“Is this not what is making government lose credibility when there is incoherence in policy pronouncement after Chinamasa told this House that he would wait, yet, we now hear that the bond notes are already in circulation at a time the committee is still gathering people’s views?” said Kuwadzana legislator Nelson Chamisa.

And Mnangagwa courted the ire of the MPs when he suggested if they were fed up with them they should wait for the next elections.

“That is why we hold elections every five years. If there are those that think the people have lost confidence in the government, (they) should wait for that time..,” said the VP.

Mnangagwa added that government had introduced the surrogate currency before the committee’s hearings “so that when (MPs) talk to the public, they will be talking about something they have in their possession”.

“Bond notes are legal tender, but those who don’t want them may not use them, they should use the currency they have faith in because we still use the US dollar,” he said.

But Chamisa accused the Midlands godfather of undermining opposition concerns.

“When we ask these questions, we will be serious and deserve to be respected but when a whole vice president trivialises these serious issues,  he will force us to closely scrutinise him because this election issue he raises has its own challenges and there is a risk that some us of will embarrass him,” he warned.

Chinamasa explained the legal framework for bond notes which was dismissed by the MDC MPs who were led by their chief whip Innocent Gonese and Mkoba MP Amos Chibaya, in rejecting it.

“Clearly, MPs are reluctant to hear what I am saying, they are closing their minds and if they continue, it will be like a conversation among the deaf,” the Finance minister said.

“What is before the House is the RBZ Bill, let’s wait to hear what the views of the public are. Why are we now afraid of their views?

“We know that to the contrary, there is a clamour for more bond notes by the public.”

On Monday, the central bank unveiled the bond notes after an anxious five months, which were characterised by chaos and panic as ordinary Zimbabweans feared the apex bank was about to introduce the reviled Zimbabwe dollar via the back door.

However, the RBZ says the promissory note is there to incentivise local exporters, while complementing the multiple currencies currently in circulation and easing the liquidity problem.

Comments (7)

pliz stop th madness. ther is no nid for consultations jus go ahead wth yo plans until they flop. dont tok abt elections coz they do not represent our wishes

marqo - 1 December 2016

In ZIMBABWE, parliament or any such state organ is wasting resources and window dressing. Mugabe single handed runs the country. He is the defense minister, security, economic and finance, parliament and judiciary. Thus why he has the cloud of indispensable.

amina - 1 December 2016

This is just a bunch of bs these so called cabinet ministers should all rot in jail one day for stealing people's money and wealth, I tell you what...zanu pf govt has run out of money/currency and have created this bond notes scenario to fund their 2018 election campaign by stealing people's money from the banks, pension funds etc, the govt is full of dumb people but not dumb to the extent of not knowing that creating bonds will obviously create hyper inflation....they know that so this was carefully designed. This is pure stealing by the govt and it's a big shame that most people will lose everything they have worked for all this time and will have to start afresh. To all those that think bond notes will make things better I say to you please please wake up right now, this is a disaster for the ordinary person but it's good times for the govt and the rich because that's when wealth transfer begins now. All people should do now is to demonstrate vigorously with one voice to reject this paper they printed but unfortunately there are always morons who have no idea the implications of this move and are actually happy they can go to the shops and now buy bread, they think they now got money. The govt preys and thrive on such stupidity and therefore it will be tough. There's absolutely no way that this will turn out well for the ordinary person. Zim is full of very clever intelligent people but there are also some very dumb people who refuse to learn whatsoever from history. These bond notes will very soon go to their true value, that is ZERO that's when people will wake up and face reality but would have lost everything.

misty - 1 December 2016

RGM is good at creating constitutional crisis and knowing he held the keys to judiciary. Logically, Nation was supposed to be consulted not told or advised on the bond notes. Then economic decision made from a platform of full impact. Now its only Mugabe who does not use a bond note who made the decision of using it. When food stuffs run out, he will never know that shops are empty. When electricity runs out he will never see black out.

amina - 1 December 2016

We have got a very serious problem. As you are saying Misty, this is their time when the wealth changes hands. From the ordinary pple to the politicians and the rich. The ordinary will be left clutching to the useless bond paper as was the case in 2008. Hatisati taona nhamo.

Smoothy1 - 1 December 2016

Democracy, hats off to Britain. They voted and the people's views on Brexit were respected. Why didn't we have a referendum on introduction of bond notes? Dictatorship at play.That's what our leadership is good at.

dankay - 1 December 2016

As usual the MDC-T does not do its homework. The bond notes were introduced via the Statutory Instrument 133 of 2016 gazetted at the end of October by Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures). That SI has a life of 6 months beyond which it expires unless it is adopted by Parliament. Instead of seriously lobbying the ZanuPF counterparts the opposition MPs are busy creating division that will kill the cause of the ordinary people. Chinamasa is cunning in pretending as if the exercise is a dump squib when he knows that if MPs vote against the bill the bond notes will have to be withdrawn.

Alois Matongo - 1 December 2016

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.