A lot of people in Zimbabwe are surprised that Mthuli Ncube was chosen as the “Best African Finance Minister of the Year” because the country’s economy is struggling.
One person on X, which used to be called Twitter, said the award was like praising a captain for steering a ship into an iceberg.
Another person said it was the funniest joke of the past ten years.
Zimbabwe has a very high unemployment rate, as high as 85%, according to experts.
According to Reuters, most transactions are done in US dollars because people don’t trust their local currency.
Reputation Poll International is a company that gives awards for good reputation. They gave Mr Ncube an award on Sunday.
The minister, chosen by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in 2018, told the Herald newspaper that he was happy to get the honor.
He said that the recognition was for the work he and the Treasury team did to lead the transformation of the economy.
But, activist Hopewell Chin’ono said that the award was a “disrespect” to Zimbabweans.
He was very surprised, especially after Mr. Ncube’s new budget, when Mr. Chin’ono called it “the worst budget for the people that Zimbabwe has ever had”.
Taxes will go up and the cost of a passport will increase to $200 (£160) from $120, which will make it the most expensive in the region.
Mr Chin’ono said that Mr Ncube is running the worst economy in the world because of his bad and dishonest decisions.
Zimbabwe’s economy has been having a difficult time for many years. The Zimbabwe dollar was stopped being used in 2009 because prices were going up really fast – even by the hour – due to very high inflation.
Critics say the ruling Zanu-PF party, led first by Robert Mugabe and then by Mr Mnangagwa, did not manage things well. They say that the Western countries’ sanctions are the reason for their problems.
Zimbabwe had by-elections on the weekend because some MPs from the main opposition party were removed.
Zanu-PF candidates won 7 out of 9 by-elections, but they still need 3 more seats to have enough power to change the constitution.