Bulilima (New Ziana) – President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Saturday warned business, particularly retailers, against hoarding basic goods to create artificial shortages to profiteer, and influence voting in the upcoming general elections.
The country will go to the polls next month.
Speaking at a campaign rally here, President Mnangagwa said government had noted with concern deliberate attempts by business to create artificial shortages of basic goods in order to inflate prices, and stir up public anger against the authorities.
This, he said, would not be tolerated, and might force government to confiscate hoarded goods and distribute to the public.
He said some retailers were buying goods in bulk from manufacturers, and hoarding these for profit, and political motives related to the elections.
“We are being disturbed currently by wanton price hikes by some unscrupulous business people. The reason being we are now heading towards a general election. Our enemies decided that they must cause problems amongst our own people,” President Mnangagwa said.
“Let me warn them I am going to have my people investigate those warehouses and if it’s true we shall confiscate not only the warehouses but things inside and distribute to you,” he added.
The rally is the second for President Mnangagwa, who is seeking a second presidential term, and coincided with the 24ths anniversary of the death of Vice President Joshua Nkomo, a native of the region.
He said other than campaigning for votes, Saturday’s rally was meant to honour and celebrate the life of the late Vice President Nkomo, and other independence war luminaries native to Matabeleland South province.
He described the late Vice President Nkomo, one of the nationalist leaders of the country’s war of independence, as a founding father of the nation.
“These are our founding father, Father Zimbabwe, the late hero and former vice president Dr Joshua Mqabuko Nyongolo Nkomo, Jason Ziyapapa Moyo, George Silundika, Naison Ndhlovu, Simon Khaya Moyo, Thenjiwe Lesabe among other sons and daughters of the revolution came from this province,” he said
“So, we who are their followers have to honour their leadership. But most importantly chose July 1 why, because Father Zimbabwe Chibwe Chitedza,hurungudo yeZimbabwe is 24th anniversary yavo. So today first and foremost, we are celebrating anniversary to our Father Zimbabwe,” President Mnangagwa said.
“We had never had a rally this big. It is so because of the spirit of the founding father is among us today. It is hovering here looking at us and saying batwana vami aaah you remember me. So we are here to crown the celebration,” he said.
President Mnangagwa reiterated government commitment to even development in the country through different vehicles, particularly devolution, under which billions of dollars have been invested in social development programmes and projects in all regions.
“We have a system of devolution. Everything (before) was done in Harare. We made a decision in Harare in cabinet for every province, for every district, every ward. Then we realised that we in Harare cannot know the pressing needs of a community. So, we decided to introduce devolution funds which are then sent to the communities. So far since 2020, we have sent ZW$16 billion to Matebeleland South for you to deal with small community needs,” he said.
“We shall continue to increase devolution funds,” he added.
He reminded people to always remember the supreme sacrifices black people paid for freedom, which include, above all, life by those who took arms to fight for independence.
“You are the owners of this country, and you have the responsibility of building this country. You have the burden of carrying forward the vision of our founding fathers. The vision of unity, vision of love and vision of harmony among us,” he said.
“There is no Manyika, no Korekore, no Ndebele, all of us are Zimbabweans. We are Zimbwabwean sonke,”said President Mnangagwa.
He said the bumper crowd at the rally was a demonstration to the country`s detractors that Zimbabweans support the ruling Zanu-PF party.
“You in Europe, come and see how Zanu PF is loved. You wished us to be divided. No, no, no. We shall never be divided. You can spend your money giving groups and groups in this country to bring about confusion and division (but) we the people of Zimbabwe say no,” he added, referring to the West’s sponsorship of local political parties in an effort to unseat the government.
“We shall remain united, we shall remain united during night, during day, in winter, in summer.”