Chinamasa grilled over cash ‘black market’

Finance and Economic Development  Minister Patrick Chinamasa responds to questions during Parliament’s Question and Answer session in Harare yesterday.— (Picture by Justin Mutenda)

Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa responds to questions during Parliament’s Question and Answer session in Harare yesterday.— (Picture by Justin Mutenda)

Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa was yesterday taken to task by legislators over Government’s inaction on the illegal sale of scarce cash on the black market.

Members of Parliament across the political divide asked the minister why there was no evident effort to prosecute cash dealers whom they claimed acted in cahoots with financial institutions and influential individuals.

The questions were raised in the National Assembly during a question-and-answer session. Shamva South Member of Parliament Cde Joseph Mapiki (Zanu-PF) was the first to ask why cash dealers were not being jailed and fingered members of the Indian and Chinese communities for selling cash at a premium.

Cde Mapiki said EcoCash dealers were also levying charges on desperate customers. Minister Chinamasa said there was no law providing for the arrest and imprisonment of such individuals, but that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe was empowered to impose penalties under the Banking Act.

“The law to jail people (dealing in cash) is not yet there. What is there are penalties for those found doing that. “We have agreed as Cabinet that a law be put in place. I am not saying cash is not being sold, but I do not know about it because I would not be there when people sell it,” said Minister Chinamasa.

His response was met with howls of disapproval from legislators, particularly when he said he wanted to get more information in respect of EcoCash dealers.

Legislators were riled that Minister Chinamasa appeared to suggest he was not aware of a practice that is rampant in the country. Zvimba West MP Cde Ziyambi Ziyambi (Zanu-PF) said a new law would not solve the problem since financial institutions were the major culprits.

“They sell cash and banks are involved. If you want to travel outside the country they will ask you to deposit your money. Where do they think we would have got it (from)?” said Cde Ziyambi.

Minister Chinamasa said he was getting regular reports from the central bank on such vices. He undertook to issue a ministerial statement next week giving full details on the issue.

This was after he was subjected to a barrage of criticism from legislators on why he was not giving precise responses. The legislators were furious that the minister in some instances said he was not aware of any alleged illegal financial practices.

Glen View North MP Mr Fani Munengami (MDC-T) implored Minister Chinamasa to give detailed responses, including information on a proposed $300 million stand-by liquidity facility and central bank governor Dr John Mangudya’s views on the performance of the bond notes so far, given that he had indicated that he would resign if they failed to achieve intended objectives.

Dr Mangudya introduced the bond notes as part of the multi-currency system in November last year, stating they would be paid out as an incentive to encourage exports and promote formal Diaspora remittances.

Responding to another question, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Joram Gumbo said engineers were already on the ground in preparation for the commencement of the Beitbridge-Harare highway dualisation.

Harare South MP Cde Shadreck Mashayamombe (Zanu-PF) had asked for an update on the project. Meanwhile, the Public Entities Corporate Governance Bill was tabled before the National Assembly yesterday.

The Bill provides for governance of public entities in compliance with the Constitution, provide a uniform mechanism for regulating the conditions of service of members of public entities and their senior employees.

The Bill was referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee to scrutinise whether it is consistent with the national Constitution.

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  • Mungandidii

    Why do we have to create a situation and when the market responds in the most likely manner we blame it. We all know the law of demand and supply and you cant cheat that. Its actually fortunate that people are responding this way, all they care for is their survival; we dont enjoy these queues; worse things could have happened!!
    I miss Tendai Biti!!!

  • SlackJawedYokel

    I cant agree with you more. People need to accept that. War veterans like Chris, need to start accepting that they just were used in Mugabe’s dynasty to rule.

  • Reuben Mukondiwa

    Bond notes were never in anyway gonna solve the cash crisis.Hameno kuti akanyepera Mangudya neteam yake ndiani izvozvo.Also Bond notes were not gonna remain at par with the US$.We do not have solid production for exporting so that we can have forex..Statutory 64 was imposed as a measure to boost economy but that is not enough to meet the demand.Also command Agric has produced results but that is very little and can only sustain us and also there is no maize for exporting.Zvakadhakwa mabond notes adhakisa zvinhu munyika.Prices of commodities even our own locally made products,are hiking so fast now and that is inflation.Hameno kuti panopera gore kuti zvinenge zvaita sei…
    Imagine these cross borders are buying hard forex at the blackmarket so that they can import since bond notes are not wanted outside the country.Now for one to have US$100 solid he has to exchange with $135 and if it’s Ecocash or transfer it will be even worse.
    Where are we heading to as a nation?Haaaaa nooo.Ndopaunonzwa umwe achiti maSanctions.Haaaaa

  • Hachie July

    He was also grilled over amai’s recent lavish expenditure

  • yowe

    Just go and vote…voter apathy is the reason things will never change

    • Madara

      I will vote. but if you see my other reply to you, you will see the problem of waiting in silence to vote.

      • yowe

        I know it is very frustrating especially with a dead opposition like we have …those fools are just quiet and extremely divided.

  • masvukupete

    Is this not because we have been defaulting on our payments. In 1999 I left my car in a fuel que because of shortages. There were no sanctions then.

    In 1991 a loaf of bread was less than a dollar. In 1998 it was more than 5 dollars. There were no sanctions then and BOP was in full force. Do not give incompetency as explanation.

    In fact those who do not succeed will always have theories of why they fail and not how. Those who succeed will not tell why they succeeded but how they succeeded.

    Musada kunyepera vanhu.

  • Madara

    hopefully.

  • masvukupete

    Let me tell u what Tendai did differently. He reigned in the govt outrageous expenditure. Explains why the economy grew during his time. You think its a coincidence that the economy suddenly started faltering after the Zanu pf 2013 “resounding victory”.

    I guess you are one of those that think people who believe in rock diesel can actually manage a modern economy. Why? To actually believe refined diesel can ooze from a rock means all the fundamentals of life and existence let alone modern science and systems escape you.

    As a matter of fact it was the people who started rejecting new printed notes and preferred forex in daily transactions and the govt was forced to pronounce the USD usage. This started in the kombis. Its like the David Livingston and the Mosi o Tunya story.

    Money is like gravity follows certain laws of nature. If you step over an edge of a cliff you will certainly fall. It does not mean just because you dont step over then gravity has stopped working. If you do not follow monetary rules you will certainly fall.

    • i am zimbabwean

      if you remember the usd was illegal, thats why the name green came up kubhaiza vavengi, even maRands ainetsa…the usd was illegal because it was costly for gvt then to import it. anyway thats besides my point, nyaya yangu ndeye kuti Biti is a lawyer and he has won very few cases in his proffession, and u actually believe that he did well muFinance…thats being naiive… kana chinamasa failed by negative 10 and biti by negative 5 we cannot say Biti is better..
      besides, its the RBZ who controls maPolicy e.g. monetary policy in zim.

      the only success in the GNU even the president noted, it was Nelson Chamisa chete

      muZim tinoda kuti tikandwe tese muIndian Ocean zim yotanga patsva because all of us are corrupt…hurumende haite corruption yega kaaa…hurumende doesnt steal from themselves, saka every zimbabwean is to blame partially, so mvura yaNoah ndiyo inga tibetsera bcz changing management wont remove some errors we have… just my personal point of view… how then are you going to teach new generation yema purisa kuti bribe haibvumirwe, how are you goin to teach motorists kuti wakabatwa nemhosva usina mari yeFine usabhadhare bribe… it has become part of every zimbabweans DNA… munongo tuku hurumende but munhu haatye kurasa marara paango dyira banana rake ganda rokandirwa ipapo… how are we to change that.

      we have become so obsessed with insulting the problems our gvt has that we have started believing that we are angels ourselves… charity begins at home.. you are part of the problem as zimbabweans.. 7 million venyu vari eligable kuVoter u didnt…

      shut up and go and REGISTER TO VOTE TODAY…

      kwete kungo wanzira baba chatunga, nevamwe vake aaaah tibvirei apo.

  • die in hell!

    john “the con man” gudya created this mess, just like his predecessor gono the dumb dumb!

  • i am zimbabwean

    ndogona kungo drawer graph rangu rinotaura kuti biti zero percent, FACTS MATTER not these graphs…

  • i am zimbabwean

    if you read what i said, Chinamasa was in acting capacity then, u make it seem as if ndati chinamsa anogona,,hahah maya ndikuti vese havagonhe i personally would choose none between the two…hahaha