As the Citizens’ Cabinet we are advocating for inclusive dialogue between the government and all relevant stakeholders to bring about practical solutions and urgent relief to the unbearable pain and suffering that citizens are going through due to the current state of the economy.


Statement on the Economy
 As the Citizens’ Cabinet we are committed to advancing practical solutions that bring relief to the unbearable pain and suffering that citizens are going through and foster inclusive, democratic and participatory development. 
In this regard, we would like to register citizens’ distress with regards to the present state of the economy and make a call for URGENT solutions.
We denounce the rampant corruption, ineptitude, incompetence and general mismanagement of the economy by the present government. 
Further, the government’s failure to consult and diligently communicate with citizenscombined with inconsistent policy pronouncements is making things worse. 
The government must realise that there is a huge trust deficit given people’s painful experience with economic mismanagement in the past and as such the government needs to be 1000% more proactive in communicating and providing clarity on everyday pressing questions. 
A core driving forces behind the current macro-economic instability in the country and the resultant runaway loss of value in bond notes and RTGS balances is the lack of independence and transparency by the Reserve Bank, especially with regards to management of foreign currency.
The current lack of transparency in forex allocations has become a huge enabler of grand corruption.
We therefore DEMAND that forthwith the Reserve Bank publishes weekly it’s foreign currency allocations in a detailed manner that allows for auditing by the Citizens and the auditor general. 
We are aware that many recipients of foreign currency from the Reserve Bank are simply taking the forex to the parallel market thereby fueling loss of value of the money that ordinary citizens are holding.
Most importantly, we call for an expeditious move to eliminate the parallel and unequal exchange rates between US dollars; RTGS; Bond notes; and mobile money – this is illogical and for as long as such a system exists those in privileged positions will engage in arbitrage and unduly benefit at the expense of ordinary citizens.
As citizens our demand is that Citizens can not lose their money again as happened in 2008. As such the government must consult on ways of eliminating the artificial 1:1 conversion rate that does not result in citizens losing the value of their money. 
 Furthermore, we would like to speak on the following issues:

Runaway price increases
Our lives as Citizens are under massive attack from the runaway price increases of basic commodities that are not matched by increases in incomes. We find it totally unacceptable that as citizens we are made to bear the final cost of the rampant corruption and mismanagement of the economy through these runaway price increases. 
The situation was already bad even before the latest wave of price hikes. It has never made sense that commodities will be priced as much as ten times more when they hit the shelves from South Africa. Nothing in the nature of the value chain justifies such prices. 
We demand that retailers provided a full breakdown of their costing structures and justification for all prices of basic commodities

Devaluation of Wages, Pensions and Savings

Runaway price hikes have devalued wages, pensions and savings. It must be recognized that wages were negotiated in US dollars and therefore cannot be treated as Bonds or RTGS value.
We therefore demand that wages be pegged to the US dollar rate in order to protect their value
Similarly all savings and pensions must be maintained in US dollars because they were earned in US dollars. 
 Public Revenue transparency
 The government recently introduced a 2% electronic transaction tax. This comes on top of other taxes such as the 5% Health Fund Levy.
We are calling for full transparency and for the government to publish all revenues and expenditures coming from these taxes
We are also calling for a full audit of all the government debt with full details on how the money was spent, especially the debt related to the issuing of Treasury Bills

Public Health / Social protection

We would like to make a most urgent call for the government to act urgently to solve the crisis in the health sector. Citizens’ lives have been put at risk because of runaway price increases in drugs and related health care fees and critical shortage of essential drugs can not be allowed to continue. We call on the government to provide priority support in terms of forex allocation and subsidies to health service providers including pharmaceutical playing a key role in the supply of drugs.
 As the Citizens’ Cabinet, we shall continue to draw on the expertise of Zimbabweans at home and the diaspora and sustain consultations on the most pressing challenges confronting citizens and we will be boldly  advancing people centered solutions without fear or favour. 

The Citizens Cabinet

  1. Convener and International Relations portfolio – Briggs Bomba
  2. Deputy Convener and Finance and Economic Development portfolio (Official Spokesperson) – Janet Zhou
  3. Chief Secretary – Ashlegh Pfunye

 Portfolio Leads

  1. Finance and Economic Development – Janet Zhou
  2. Public Sector Innovation – Sakhile Sifelani
  3. Informal Economy and SMEs Development – Michael Ndiweni
  4. Mining, Natural Resources and Environment – Mutuso Dhliwayo
  5. Education – Robson Chere
  6. Public Infrastructure and Urban Development – Clever Bere
  7. Arts, Heritage and Culture& Tourism – Buthelezwi Kgosi Nyathi
  8. Labour and Social Security – Naome Chakanya
  9. Lands and Agriculture Development – To be announced
  10. Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs – Tafadzwa Mugabe
  11. Gender Justice – Glanis Changachirere
  12. Youth & Sports – Misheck Gondo
  13. Media, Freedom of Expression and ICTs – Farai Sam Monro
  14. Health – Rutendo Bonde 
  15. Social Cohesion and National Healing – To be announced 
  16. Industry and Commerce – To be announced