Tendai Mugabe in GOROMONZI
The introduction of a local currency marked a turning point in Zimbabwe’s monetary regime and the country will not revert to the basket of multi-currencies, the President has said.
The mono-currency system will see those dealing in forex illegally and manipulating the money market being dealt with in terms of the law.
Zimbabwe adopted the use of multiple currencies in 2008 to contain runaway inflation.
However, the arrangement was not economically sustainable.
After stabilising the budget deficit through austerity measures adopted last year, the Government subsequently introduced a local currency to guarantee economic development.
Further, President Mnangagwa said there was no going back on economic reforms taken by the Government.
Officially opening the 18th Zanu-PF Annual National People’s Conference at Goromonzi High School in Mashonaland East Province yesterday, President Mnangagwa said no country could develop without its own currency.
“The austerity measures that we introduced in the course of the year were meant to bring back the economy on its rails,” said President Mnangagwa.
“No progressive nation can develop without its own currency. The introduction of our own currency will undoubtedly enhance our economic stability, growth and competitiveness.
“However, we have some amongst our people who fight this decision. Every single country, every single economy has its own currency. We are not an exception.
“Those who continue to deal in the money market, I say to you all, the long hand of the law will catch up with you. We will not revert back to a basket of currencies.”
Added President Mnangagwa: “Measures have been put in place to ensure adequate cash supply to our populace.
“The law enforcement agents will move in to deal with those who are hoarding cash and causing artificial shortages of cash.
“The illegal trading in foreign currency must be stopped in line with our laws. It is incumbent upon all citizens of our great country and party members in particular, to protect and defend our currency as a symbol of national sovereignty and pride.”
Measures to arrest high prices and the establishment of social safety nets that Government was putting in place, the President said, were meant to cushion the citizens.
He said Government was concerned with the prevailing high prices charged by some retailers of basic commodities.
“As Government, we will continue to put social safety nets to cushion the vulnerable members of our society such as subsidised mealie-meal, Zupco buses for transport and the removal of duty on selected food commodities,” said President Mnangagwa.
“Retailers should not sell subsidised basic commodities in bulk to ensure equitable access to the products by vulnerable communities.”
The President said Government would continue to award its workers a cost of living adjustment.
He said a once off 50 percent payment to pensioners and their dependants would be made before Christmas.
To ensure robust and sustainable economic development and food security, the President said Government was resuscitating small-scale irrigation schemes countrywide.
He said mechanisation and modernisation of the agriculture sector was underway through the provision of tractors, planters, harvesters and centre pivots.
“The need to increase agriculture productivity and efficiency to achieve sustainable food security cannot be overemphasised.
“The ongoing land audit will result in a downsizing exercise. This will be in compliance to the maximum farm size of each ecological region and determination to eliminate multiple farm ownership.”
With regards to the mining sector, President Mnangagwa said: “We have launched a strategy which will see us grow a $12 billion mining industry by 2023.
“This will provide empowerment and employment for our people throughout the country.
“The party commends the role of small-scale miners in growing our mining sector, in particular, those in the gold and chrome sub-sectors.
“I call on those in this sub sector to desist from violence and other illegal activities.
“Pasi nemabhemba. Corruption and chicanery by some mining officials will be decisively dealt with. Perpetrators must stand warned.”