BY KENNETH NYANGANI

A LOCAL economist Prosper Chitambara has described Finance minister Mthuli Ncube as a scholar, who is not fit to be Finance minister, because he has an academic and theoretical approach to financial and economic matters.

Chitambara made the remarks in Mutare on Monday while addressing the Labour and Economic Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe-organised media workshop.

“I think our Finance minister Mthuli Ncube is a scholar. I believe when he came in as the Finance minister he believed that he knew everything and that was wrong. He has not done well as the Finance minister of this country,” Chitambara said.

“At the same time, it is also difficult to judge him because he might be running someone’s vision. If President Emmerson Mngangagwa said no to a policy, what would he say?” he pondered.
When Ncube was appointed to head the Finance ministry in 2018, he promised to turn around the country’s economic fortunes, but has not succeeded.

Chitambara also said the country needs at least US$12 billion for infrastructure development.“The government needs to scale up infrastructure development in the country, mainly targeting rural areas and we will be focusing on agriculture, building roads, irrigation and energy, which is key to any development in the country,” he said.

“We need about US$12 billion to develop our infrastructure into the modern era, but we have a lot of political divisions, we have not yet reached political maturity; leadership should not be feared,” he said

“Development should not divide us, but should unite us. Our resources have not benefited us Zimbabweans.”

Zimbabwe is losing billions of dollars to corruption and has been ranked 160 out of 180 countries in the 2018 Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index.