Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube was Thursday told in Senate the newly introduced foreign currency exchange auction trading system was a security threat as it had added burden to long-suffering Zimbabweans.
The senators said the foreign currency trading system, introduced by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) last week, was unnecessary as prices of goods and commodities were spiralling every week.
Masvingo MDC Alliance Senator Tichinani Mavetera went on to accuse Ncube of implementing policies that were threatening the country’s stability and security.
“As we heard from the minister, the policy he introduced has become a security risk to the country. This is because we are seeing strikes in all sectors of the economy which is a real threat to the stability of Zimbabwe,” said Mavetera before asking Ncube what Treasury would do to avert a full blown industrial action by civil servants.
In response, Ncube dismissed Mavetera’s assertions.
“Security risk to the country is not the policies we have introduced but the speculators, those who are dealing in the parallel market and involved in illicit activities,” Ncube said.
He added there was nothing government could do more for civil servants as the public workers were recently covered by a 50% salary hike and a US$75 Covid-19 cushioning allowance.
“The other point is that for the civil servants, we are doing various things. We have increased their salaries by 50% and this a temporary cushioning allowance during this Covid-19 period while we negotiate for a normal call adjustment.
“We have added another allowance of US$75 for all civil servants to cushion them from inflation during this difficult time. Negotiations are going on as we speak. This is just a gesture from the employer. To be clear the saboteur is the person on the parallel market.”
Ncube said the government had allowed the floating of free funds to bring transparency and efficiency in the trading of foreign currency and extinguish the thriving foreign currency black market.
“There is only one exchange rate. We allowed for the use of free funds to give consumers and citizenry flexibility when they go for shopping and paying for goods and services and to manage money supply by allowing circulation and easy transaction activity and stabilise our currency,” he told the senators.