Mangunje (New Ziana) – President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Saturday accused some captains of industry of sabotaging government’s economic development policies, and threatened stern against them if this persisted.
The country’s economy has come under attack in recent months as the August 23 general election drew closer, with rampant price increases for basic goods, and sharp devaluation of the local currency, in what is suspected to be a political ploy to influence voting.
Basic goods have also been hoarded to create artificial shortages from which some businesses, especially big, formal retailers, have sought to profiteer.
Speaking at an election campaign rally in Mangunje, President Mnangagwa threatened to name some of the culprits at his next rally in Masvingo next weekend if the transgressions continued.
He said the actions of the businesses were intended to stir up public anger against the government, and compel people to vote against it in the upcoming election.
“Those who are hoarding and manipulating the economy I say to you, this is Zimbabwe and it’s for Zimbabweans. Either you are with us or against us. If you are with us we shall support you and giving you the leeway to continue doing business. But if you are not with us, your business will start to shrink and continue shrinking until nothing is left,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said some of the offending businesses had pleaded with the authorities not to reveal their identities, for fear of consumer boycott, and had been spoken to strongly in private.
The attack on the economy has principally involved manipulation of the local currency, leading to its sharp devaluation, and consequent astronomical rise in prices of goods and services.
This has driven up inflation, and created a wide disparity between price and wage growth in the economy.
President Mnangagwa first sounded the warning to profiteering businesses last weekend at a similar rally in Bulilima.