Zimbabwe Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube who is in New York attending a United Nations programme has told CNN that Zimbabwe is the biggest buy in Africa right now.
He told Richard Quest that the country was dealing with the twin deficit problem- the fiscal deficit and the current account deficit- and should clear its arrears with the World Bank and the African Development Bank within the next 12 months.
Quest asked Ncube that the problem with the biggest buy was that it also opened the opportunity for the biggest corruption, what was Zimbabwe doing about this?
Ncube said Zimbabwe had adopted zero tolerance on corruption and several people had been arrested.
While indeed scores of people have been arrested only one has been convicted so far and on a very minor offence leading to accusations that the arrests are politically motivated and are done before any investigations.
Most of the politicians so far arrested belonged to the G40 faction of the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front which backed former First Lady Grace Mugabe and have been on remand for a year now.
Asked whether Ncube could understand why people were skeptical or cynical about the ability of Zimbabwe to clean up the economy and run a well ordered country because history was against the country, Ncube said that in the new dispensation it had been agreed not to focus on politics but on economic revival.
“We have launched this transitional stabilisation programme because we are focussing on the economy. We are determined to put it on the right path for prosperity and for investors to profit from it. They should believe is us…..,” Ncube said.
Asked why people should believe in the new dispensation, Ncube replied: “We are walking the talk. For the first time we are walking the talk. We are doing everything that we said we will do. We are measuring the results. We are very results oriented. If you look at our transitional stabilisation programme it is a results based programme.”
Ncube is not a member of the ruling ZANU-PF but was one of the five ministers appointed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to his cabinet.
He has been accused of talking too much and focusing on the international community ignoring pressing problems at home.
While Mnangagwa has also said the time for politics is over and people should focus on the economy, his lieutenants have this week been talking retrogressive politics about lifting the age limit for presidential candidates and endorsing Mnangagwa for the 2023 elections, something that seems absurd as he has only been in office for the first three months of his five-year term.
These repeated endorsements of candidates when there is no pending election are what led former President Robert Mugabe to run down the country as he was led to believe that the people were behind him when it was only his lieutenants who were just trying to protect their positions.
The proposal to amend the age limit is believed to be aimed at Movement for Democratic Change leader Nelson Chamisa who nearly beat Mnangagwa in July and insists he indeed won the elections though he lost the case at the Constitutional Court.
Chamisa turned 40 in February and would not be eligible to contest elections until 2033 if the age limit is pushed to 52.