Monetary Policy Statement Is Very Mendacious: Biti

Former finance minister and opposition deputy national chairperson Tendai Biti has described Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Dr John Mangudya’s 2019 Monetary Policy Statement as mendacious and a technical fix for business institutions.

In a video posted online, Biti hinted on prospective lawsuits individuals and business institutions are likely to face for breaching section 43 of the Central Bank Act.

Section 43 of the Central Bank Act stipulates and recognizes bond note and US dollar as having the same value.

“What they have done is very mendacious, is very dishonest. Because number one, they have not repealed the section 43 of the Reserve Bank Act.  And section 43 of the Reserve Bank Act is the one that says there is a bond note which is at par with the United States Dollar, so that is still the law of this country.

“So technically, come Friday, come any day after the 20th of February, Anyone who therefore sells trades with the US dollar on exchange rate other than the 1:1 is actual committing an offense because section 43 has not been amended and only the Parliament can amend that,” Biti said.

Through the establishment of the Interbank, the central bank formalised foreign currency exchange on a willing-buyer willing-seller basis.

Biti described the move as a deceit as the liberalizing of the foreign currency market is meant to prejudice high exporting business institutions who can approach the court for protection.

“Dishonest number two is that they are still maintaining the export retention scheme that means that huge exporters like ZimPlats, like the mining houses, tobacco farmers, they still have their foreign currency being taken by the government but surely if you have liberalized then you must allow those companies to keep their foreign currency so that the excess will then go on the auction market so that people can buy including the government.  But you cannot retain a control and then at the same time pretend that you have liberalized.

“You have not liberalized.  Once you liberalized, liberalize both the supply and the demand. So you can’t liberalize demand auction but supply the exporters you are nationalizing their money and I hope that big companies the ZimPlats of this world will for the first have the courage and go to their lawyers and approach the High Court, approach the Constitutional Court because this abnormality should not continue,” he said.

MDC President Nelson Chamisa described the monetary policy as a disaster which will see the country sliding deeper the abyss.

Chamisa said the abrupt changes in monetary changes should have been accompanied by apology and at least compensation as people lost their earnings again.

“THE MONETARY POLICY STATEMENT is a disaster that will erode livelihoods, plunge the nation into darkness & uncertainty. The nation was misled that bond note was equal to USD. Not good enough to simply wake up to say the same are now no longer equal, minus apology & compensation,” Chamisa wrote on his twitter account yesterday.

 

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