Why Zimbabwe is delaying payments to suppliers- hotel bill shoots up from US$120 to US$600 a night


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Zimbabwe is delaying to pay its suppliers for two main reasons: it does not print money and uses its own revenue, and it has to look at the pricing system as some suppliers have become greedy.

This was said by Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga in Parliament after he had been asked why suppliers to the Ministry of Health, which he also heads, had not been paid for six to nine months.

“We do not print money but we collect revenue and revenue has to be collected by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. When the money is available, then  it gets disbursed. If we print money which is not there, there are consequences and that is inflation. So as the Second Republic, we took a position to never print money when it is not there but only money which is there is disbursed,” Chiwenga said.

The Vice-President also said the government had to scrutinise the bills because some suppliers had become greedy.

“Yesterday there was an issue which was raised here about us parliamentarians going for the budget seminar. The hoteliers whom we have summoned – a room which was costing USD120, when they heard that there is a seminar for parliamentarians, some of the rooms shot up to USD600 and we said why? That is what delayed and these are some of the practical things where you get some people greedy out there.”

Q & A:

HON. MARKHAM: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question originates from my point of national interest yesterday. We were told in this House by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development that all money is disbursed immediately when it is asked for by the Ministry of Health and Child Care. My question is why are suppliers holding and complaining that they were not being paid six to nine months after they delivered goods? Is it because of delays within the Ministry of Health to call for the money or is it the Ministry of Finance delaying in paying? I thank you.

THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. (RTD). GEN. C.G.D.N. CHIWENGA): Madam Speaker, the issue of payments in Government systems are supposed to be a matter which Hon. Members of Parliament will know and should understand. We do not print money but we collect revenue and revenue has to be collected by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. When the money is available, then  it gets disbursed. If we print money which is not there, there are consequences and that is inflation. So as the Second Republic, we took a position to never print money when it is not there but only money which is there is disbursed. We pass budgets and we allocated money to different ministries but it is against the revenue anticipated and if there is something which causes fissures in that process, there might be delays.

Continued next page

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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