President Mnangagwa slams profiteering
Harare (New Ziana) – President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Tuesday castigated local businesses for taking advantage of the current difficult economic situation to unjustly hike prices of basic goods and commodities.
Prices of basic goods have in some instances shot up by up to 500 percent over the past few months, with retailers claiming the adjustments were in line with the movements in the currency exchange rates.
This has priced most basic goods, which were already expensive, out of the reach of many.
In a bid to cushion its employees, government has committed to a second salary adjustment this year, and has in the meantime paid out a cushioning allowance to help them cope with the rising cost of living.
Government has since urged the private sector to follow suit and has also re-introduced a mass transport system to cushion commuters across the country from high fares charged by private operators.
Addressing the Zimbabwe Defence Forces Day commemorations, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said the price hikes were unwarranted.
“There are, however, some in our business community who have taken this difficult transition phase of our economy as an opportunity to unjustifiably enrich themselves,” he said.
“There is no justification, whatsoever, why our people should be subjected to some of the high prices of goods and services that we have witnessed in recent months.”
President Mnangagwa said government was working on an economic reform programme meant to promote production to improve the economy.
Efforts, he said, were also being exerted towards dealing with corruption, which he said was hindering economic development.
“Equally, no economy can flourish in a corrupt environment,” he said.
“The medicine to cure our economic ailment will be bitter and often painful, whether within a household or at state level but the darkest hour comes before dawn.”
He added: “Indications are that our economic fundamentals are now in place to facilitate an upward development trajectory. This has also been confirmed by the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and other International Financial Institutions.”
Recently, the World Bank upgraded Zimbabwe to a lower-middle income economy, up from low-income economy status, the clearest indication yet that President Mnangagwa’s vision to transform the country into an upper-middle income economy by 2030 is achievable.
To achieve vision 2030, Zimbabwe is currently implementing painful, but necessary reforms to undo years of economic mismanagement.
Guided by the Transitional Stabilization Program (TSP), which is the first phase of the implementation of vision 2030, fiscal authorities have so far contained government expenditure and borrowing, while massive efforts are being made to deal with corruption and rationalising the civil service in order to contain the high public sector wage bill.
The TSP, which is also prioritising the aggressive marketing and re-branding of Zimbabwe to facilitate tourism, trade and investment, will be succeeded by two successive five year development plans from 2021 to 2030.