Former Finance Minister, Tendai Biti who is also the Vice President of opposition MDC Alliance has criticised Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube for celebrating being named among the best African Finance Ministers when the economy is burning.
Biti speaks after Ncube posted on Twitter announcing that he had been named by a francophone magazine, Financial Afrik, among the top 5 Finance ministers in Africa.
After the announcement, Ncube immediately took to Twitter, hailing the magazine for its “qualitative analysis of candidates,” there were blowbacks by a string of experts, including Biti and leading economist, Tony Hawkins. Biti told Standardbusiness:
I find those tweets (by Ncube) so disturbing.
They are pathological, sycophantic. Who blows his own trumpet? The magazine in question, from Senegal, is an innocuous little publication. More than that, it is a very skewered publication. The economy does not need a spokesperson; it speaks for itself. When the economy functions the citizen is happy, buoyant and aggressive. The average Zimbabwean is battered, bitter.
Of all economic indices, there is one thing that doesn’t lie; it is the exchange rate. The exchange rate tells you whether the economy is performing well, whether the stewardship of the economy is in good hands. We have one of the worst exchange rates on the African continent.
You have to have a value system. Humility is so important. You have to have ubuntu. There are those who judge people. We have newspapers that say ‘this is best minister’, let them do that. We have organisations that give awards to ministers, let them do that but you don’t speak. Now, you go pick an unknown publication and say ‘look at me’ I mean it’s really sick.
Tony Hawkins, a former economics lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe’s Graduate School of Management, said with the second-highest annual inflation rate in the world and a string of unachieved targets, there was little that Ncube could celebrate for.
Hawkins told Standardbusiness that the value of the currency fell from 100 US cents per dollar at the time Ncube took over to less than one US cent.
In his Twitter post, Ncube the ministers in the top 5 were judged to have implemented transformative economic policies with results.
More: The Standard