Net closing in on economic saboteurs
Joseph Madzimure-Senior Reporter
INVESTIGATIONS are underway to expose the third hand that could be working with some big companies to destabilise the economy, President Mnangagwa has said.
This comes as the Government has introduced a raft of measures to contain foreign-fuelled inflation which has resulted in unjustifiable price hikes and in some cases hoarding of basic commodities like cooking oil for speculative purposes.
Speaking at the Political Actors Dialogue (Polad) plenary meeting at State House in Harare yesterday, President Mnangagwa said investigations are underway to nail the culprits who are behind currency manipulation.
The first port of call, President Mnangagwa said, is the financial services sector led by banks and financial institutions.
“We have established that some members of the business community were involved in fuelling the parallel market thereby destabilising our local currency.
“Our economy has been under attack from unscrupulous and nefarious individuals and syndicates bent on sabotaging our way of life. The onslaught has created hardships for our citizens due to the inflationary pressures caused by speculation on our local currency,” the President said.
These activities, he said, have been caused by sinister elements that want to effect regime change.
“I believe that these activities have been caused by a third hand whose objectives is to interfere and derail our national development trajectory”, President Mnangagwa said.
It has since been established that recent exchange rate movements were driven more by nefarious activities among economic agents as opposed to economic fundamentals.
Prices in Zimbabwe have of late been increasing at an alarming rate, further squeezing ordinary people whose incomes have been eroded by resurgent inflationary pressures.
“I urge business not to be collaborators in these selfish and self-serving efforts that are not in the nation’s collective interest,” said President Mnangagwa.
Polad is a grouping of political parties that contested in the 2018 harmonised elections who came together to contribute towards national development.
President Mnangagwa commended Polad principals for supporting Government efforts.
He chronicled how the Government had started the rehabilitation and reconstruction of roads across the country.
This is a continuation and sustenance of efforts in undertaking extensive infrastructural development projects through the construction, upgrading and rehabilitation of roads to enhance the transportation of goods and people under the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme (ERRP).
In Harare, over 40 roads have so far been rehabilitated over the initial target of 32 roads.
Road construction falls under the infrastructure cluster and roads are regarded as key economic enablers in line with the vision of attaining an upper middle income economy by 2030.
The Government has so far spent over $1 billion on road rehabilitation, gravelling and drainage structuring as part of the Second Republic’s ERRP2 launched by President Mnangagwa early last year.
“It has also facilitated the revitalisation of industry and encouraged tertiary institutions to implement projects through their curricula that embrace innovation and invention of technologies that foster modernisation and economic development,” said President Mnangagwa.
He also updated Polad principals on strategies put in place by the Government to combat the spread of Covid-19.
“I am delighted that we as a nation have managed to contain and prevent the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. Although we still have cases recorded daily, they are not as severe as was generally projected for us as a developing country.
“Our resilience has been due to our policies and adherence to the World Health Organisation’s protocols. We continue to preach the gospel of sanitisation, social distancing and face-masking. The Government has also provided an ongoing vaccination programme which our citizens have embraced,” President Mnangagwa said.
At the current vaccination rate, Government is on track to reach herd immunity.
“My Government has already started making available third doses to those who have been fully vaccinated. We continue encouraging the public to vaccinate so that we can return to our normalcy like other countries have done,” the President said.
Turning to food security, President Mnangagwa said the Government will pool resources to ensure food security at household level.
He also commended Polad for exhibiting, for the second year in a row, at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair.
Polad principal Mr Welcome Shumba commended President Mnangagwa for considering the plight of the general populace who are being affected by currency manipulation.
“We discussed a number of issues which affect the general public in our country such inflation and social issues which affect the general public,” said Mr Shumba.
Polad principals discussed issues related to electoral reforms as the country is geared for the 2023 harmonised elections, state of the economy and the Polad National Community Outreach programme where they have adopted certain schools in each province.