Zimbabwe Finance Minister laments he has no money to spend as $97 out of every $100 he gets goes to wages but he is not adopting South African rand


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Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa yesterday implored Members of Parliament to be more realistic about what the government could do and not do because he had no money to spend but at the same time he said Zimbabwe was not going to adopt the South African rand or reintroduce the Zimbabwe dollar.

Responding to questions raised by legislators during the second reading of the Finance Bill, Chinamasa said: “I think I need Hon. Members to understand me clearly. The reality of our situation is that out of every $100 revenue that I receive, 90% to 97% is going to wages. 

“This means that I have $3 which I have to devote to service delivery and all the things that we are talking about here – roads, schools and clinics.  That is the focus that we must give as this Parliament – to change that structure and we cannot change it by speaking in tongues.

“When I say by speaking in tongues, it is that people come here and recognise what I have said but all the contributions are basically to say, spend more on that and on that and no appreciation that there is very little from which to spend on all those things. 

“I think I know more about the state of the economy than anybody here because I have to superintendent over all the sectors.  So, I know what the situation is in the health sector.  The fact that in the health sector I am unable to find money to hire doctors and nurses, I know that. 

“The fact that there are no drugs and equipment in hospitals, I know that.  If you go to education, it is the same thing – there are no teachers or there is a shortage of teachers.

“Infrastructure is in a dilapidated state and these are problems that have accumulated over many years.”

Chinamasa said despite all these problems Zimbabwe was not going to adopt the South Africa rand because Zimbabwe was not South Africa. It was not going to rush to bring back the Zimbabwe dollar either. 

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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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