Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor John Panonetsa Mangudya has refuted a story published by a weekly publication claiming that he “slammed” Finance and Economic Minister Mthuli Ncube for steeply increasing tariffs for public utilities.
In a story titled “Mangudya slams Ncube tariff increases” published by The Zimbabwe Independent, the RBZ governor is said to have “launched a rare scathing attack on the government for steeply increasing tariffs for public utilities, warning the decision will have serious ramifications on market stability.”
However, in a statement posted on the RBZ Twitter handle, @ReserveBankZIM on Friday evening, Mangudya said whilst the content of the article is factual, the reference to slamming Ncube is false. The statement read:
The Bank has noted with great concern the misleading headline in today’s Zimbabwe Independent which purports that Mangudya slammed Hon. Minister Ncube on tariff increases. Whilst the content of the article is factual, the reference to slamming the Minister is false.
As reported by The Zimbabwe Independent, Mangudya made the remarks while speaking at the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce 6th Annual Business Review Conference on Thursday. He is quoted as having said:
Yes, the pricing of public utilities is also of concern, of great concern. We have advised government, we have advised the Minister of Finance that we need to be responsible when it comes to public utilities because the way the figures go up appears like there is no relationship with the rest of the products.
To increase the price by 120% in an economy where inflation is 5% and below, month-on-month, is not being responsible.
We, as advisors to the government, have advised the same line and have said it because we do not want to lose stability because of prices of public utilities. We would be shooting ourselves in the foot.