HARARE, Zimbabwe's acting finance minister, Patrick Chinamasa, will present the 2018 National Budget in Parliament on Dec 7, officials here said Tuesday.

Presentation of the fiscal statement had become uncertain following recent changes in government which saw President Emmerson Mnangagwa being sworn into office as the new Head of State to succeed former President Robert Mugabe who resiged.

Former finance minister Dr Ignatius Chombo, who had initially been scheduled to present the budget on Thursday last week, failed to do so as Zimbabwe went through a political process which culminated in changes in the political leadership.

Dr Chombo was subsequently arrested and is facing a slew of charges among them abuse of office, scattering the budget presentation plans. He was on Monday remanded in custody until Dec 8.

President Mnangagwa on Monday dissolved the Cabinet left behind by his predecessor and appointed two acting Ministers -- Chinamasa and Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, who takes care of the Foreign Affairs portfolio in the meantime.

Chief secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda said appointment of the two acting Ministers was meant to allow for uninterrupted service in critical Ministries of government".

Processes are still underway for appointment of a new Cabinet that is expected to take a lead in pushing for rejuvenation of the economy.

Officials from the Zimbabwe Parliament and Finance Ministry confirmed Dec 7 as the date for the much awaited Budget presentation. Chinamasa had been moved from Finance to the Cyber Security Ministry in the last Cabinet reshuffle.

The 2018 National Budget is largely expected to remain at around 4.0 billion US dollars, and is expected to give direction on new policies that President Mnangagwa has said will be targeted at jump-starting the struggling economy through boosting exports, creating jobs and attracting foreign investment.

The bottom line is an economy which is back on its feet, and in which a variety of players make choices and fulfill roles without doubts, in an environment shorn of fickle policy shifts and unpredictability, President Mnangagwa said at his inauguration last Friday.

Only that way can we recover this economy, create jobs for our youths and reduce poverty for all our people who must witness real, positive changes in their lives.


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