Load Shedding and Fuel Shortage prompted axing of Energy Minister Gumbo
Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa has announced the appointment of Deputy Minister of Transport, Fortune Chasi, as the new minister of energy, as the country continues to face rotational power cuts and fuel shortages. Former Minister of Energy Joram Gumbo has been re-assigned to a newly created position in the president’s office.
Zimbabwe started implementing planned load shedding last Monday, given low water levels at the Kariba Dam’s hydroelectric power plant, generation constraints at local power stations and limited foreign imports. The country is also facing fuel shortages, which let to customers waiting up to 10 hours at various gas stations last week.
Gumbo had repeatedly blamed fuel shortages on the limited availabil…
Are Bread Prices in Rand the answer to Inflation?
With the introduction of the RTGS Dollar on 22 February this year, an online currency only, Zimbabwe moved on terra nova as it is the first country in the world where cash in local currency has almost been abolished. Menus in Restaurants and Prices in Supermarkets are shown in “Dollar”, but it is not the US Dollar, it is the “Real Time Gross settlement Dollar”, short “RTGS Dollar”.The RTGS Dollar can currently be multiplied by 4 in order to find its Rand equivalent.
But the introduction together with the move to “Ecocash” that can be used to pay and receive money via Smart Phone Apps goes not without criticism as the example of Zimbabwean businessman Strive Masiyiwa shoes, who wants the country to start pricing its goods in Rand ins…
Electronic Dollar Trading resumes to ease FOREX Shortage
Zimbabwe said it will allow companies and individuals to trade dollars electronically, as it looks to ease a crippling scarcity of foreign exchange that had sent the economy into meltdown. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (“RBZ”) has upgraded its systems to allow for such transactions and will run testing until February 1, after which it plans to go live.
The southern African nation’s cash crisis has caused shortages of everything from fuel to bread, much of which is imported. Zimbabwe scrapped its own currency a decade ago to end hyperinflation and adopted a basket of units instead, with the dollar being the most widely used. The RBZ then printed quasi-greenbacks called bond notes and an electronic currency known as RTGS$ to fund rampa…
Protests and Shutdown of Businesses let Country bleed
Zimbabwe seems not be able to catch a break. Freshly freed from the coercive shackles of the Mugabe Era, the country was hit first by a cash crisis and now by the violent aftermath of a 150% petrol price hike, making Zimbabweans Petrol the most expensive in the world.
The newly appointed government seems inexperienced dealing with the mighty unions as well as the resulting protests and the decision to curb social media and internet-based communication was not only unlucky, it poured further oil on the burning fires within society and business world.
Currently, businesses in Zimbabwe are losing millions of dollars per day as a shutdown protest – called for by the country’s biggest labour union – continues over a the sudden hike in…
Supply Crisis hits Consumers hard
Zimbabwe is facing its worst economic crisis in a decade, with prices soaring, limits on bread purchases, and long queues for fuel. This followed Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube’s decision to introduce a tax increase on money transfers last week to try and stabilise the government’s finances. The announcement triggered a rise in basic-commodity prices, stoking fears of an inflationary spiral and leading to long queues forming at petrol stations.
Many shops, under pressure from the government, are restricting customers’ purchases to prevent hoarding. Others have gone further: Yum! Brands Inc. temporarily shut some of its KFC outlets this week, saying it couldn’t find enough dollars to pay suppliers. Last Thursday, police arrested and bea…
Money Transfer Tax of 2% introduced today
Zimbabwe’s newly appointed Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube has announced a 2 cents per dollar tax on electronic transactions as the country moves to widen its tax base: “I hereby review the Intermediated Money Transfer Tax from 5 cents per transaction to 2 cents per dollar transacted, effective 1 October 2018,” said Minister Ncube.
He said due to the increase in the informalisation of the economy and huge spikes in electronic and mobile phone-based financial transactions and real-time gross settlement transactions (RTGS), “there is [the] need to expand the tax collection base and ensure that the tax collection points are aligned with electronic mobile payment transactions and the RTGS system". While the new tax …
Finally: Mnangagwa reveals HIS Cabinet!
Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced his 20-member cabinet which includes military men who were in his previous cabinet and technocrats, at the State House in Harare. Mnangagwa downsized – as promised and in light of budgetary restraints – from the previous 23, and merged some portfolios.
Besides the military figures and a few technocrats, Mnangagwa’s cabinet is made up of Zanu-PF hardliners, some of whom were at the forefront of rebelling against the autocratic leader, former president Robert Mugabe. The technocrats who made it into cabinet are Professor Mthuli Ncube (finance and economic development), former Olympic champion Kirsty Coventry (youth, sport, arts and recreation), Obadiah Moyo (health and child care) …
The Nation in Anticipation of New Cabinet
Mnangagwa has been sworn in as the new President of Zimbabwe, but is yet to appoint his Cabinet from elected MPs and five non-constituency MPs to be appointed based on their skills and technical abilities.
“At the moment, constitutionally, Zimbabwe does not have a Vice-President or a Cabinet minister because a new President has been sworn-in and all those who were ministers are no longer such. Whatever all these ministers are doing, it is illegal or in transition,” a senior government official said. “The law is silent on what ought to start. The President might appoint since those elected are now known and were duly declared so by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission. What is left for them is to be sworn in so that they could start parl…
Inflation Rate escalates rapidly to 4.29%
Zimbabwe inflation accelerated to its highest level since 2012 in July, with the country’s budget deficit being the single most damaging influence. Annual consumer-price growth quickened to 4,29% in July from 2.9% in June, according to figures from the National Statistics Agency. This is the highest rate since 2012, when the country rebased its Index.
Upward pressures on inflation were from food and non-alcoholic beverages at 6.35%, whilst the non-food inflation rate was 3.33%. The price of food jumped 6.26% since July 2017, driven largely by meat inflation at 9,70%, vegetables at 9.16% and bread and cereals at 2.40%. Non-alcoholic beverages inflation came out at 8.08%.
Money, money, money
Economist John Robertson attributed…
Post-Election Security Measures drive Activists into Hiding
Hundreds more activists have gone into hiding in Zimbabwe as security agencies intensify a crackdown launched shortly after the election 10 days ago.
Millions of people cast votes in the poll, the first since the ousting of Robert Mugabe last year. The victor was Emmerson Mnangagwa, a former aide to Mugabe and a stalwart of the Zanu-PF party, which has ruled since independence from Britain in 1980. Nelson Chamisa, the opposition Movement for Democratic Change leader, has said his party will challenge the “illegitimate and fraudulent” election in the courts.
The poll was seen as a potential turning point for Zimbabwe, which desperately needs foreign investment to avoid economic breakdown. But hopes for dramatic and immediate change …