MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa is demanding that the Zimbabwean government reverse and refund the money Zimbabweans lost after the introduction and implementation of the infamous tax regime which became effective on the 13th of October.
Describing the new tax, which takes two cents on every dollar for electronic transactions as cruel and criminal to already struggling Zimbabweans, Chamisa said that those that had already paid the 2 percent tax which he claims is not backed by any law, should be refunded.
“They should give back people their money and explain to the people about the issuance of Treasury Bills, who were the beneficiaries? What did they do with the money and how did we end up with $9 billion debt.”
“The ghost of elections cannot just be wished away”, he said, highlighting that instead of moving ahead the country is moving in circles and going back to much feared 2008 economic meltdown.
In a tightly contested presidential election in July 2018, Nelson Chamisa got 44.3 percent while Mnangagwa got 50.6 percent, ultimately winning the elections. However, post-elections, the economy has since gone from bad to worse as the country’s surrogate currency, the bond note, has dramatically lost value compared to the US dollar on the black market despite the official notion that the two currencies have the exact same value. This does not come as a surprise as most people in Zimbabwe have always anticipated that such a day would eventually come. Prices of basic commodities have shot up while other products, including fuel have since become scarce and a burden to acquire.
Chamisa said there was an urgent need for the introduction of a new culture in the government, adding that the problems the country is facing need a political solution.
“There is need for the immediate cancelation and removal of the bond note, ring fence bond balances ,introduce certainty and predictability in the currency, policy consistency within government among other issues.
He claims that this is called economic dirigisme, which means too much control of things by the State. Nelson Chamisa, who still stands by the assertion that the ruling Zanu-PF party rigged the elections does not mince his words when he says “Where you tamper with election figures , you can not tamper with economic figures. The economy is very stubborn”.
Meanwhile, economists observing the current situation in the country say the Minister of Finance, Mthuli Ncube is fast running out of time to deal with the economic mayhem. According to United States economist Steve Hanke, Ncube has run out of time and rope to save Zimbabwe with “too many meetings and nonsensical talk”.
“Zimbabwe needs to officially dollarize without any quasi currencies disrupting the system. Bond notes and RTGS are cancers. That is why inflation by my measure has surged by 177 percent this year,” Hanke said.
In the face of the economic problems, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has assigned the Justice ministry to come up with a set of measures to deal with illegal forex dealers roaming Zimbabwe’s streets.The laws, which will operate for six months, will be promulgated through the Presidential Powers Act( Temporary Measures) Act.