Zvamaida Murwira in MUDZI
AT least 12 banks were penalised for financial indiscipline during a recent crackdown embarked upon by the Government when it temporarily stopped them from lending money to the public, President Mnangagwa said yesterday.
He said out of 16 banks, only four were absolved of any wrongdoing during investigations carried out by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) to identify culprits engaged in acts of financial malfeasance which resulted in spiralling inflation and a spike in the exchange rate on the parallel market.
Addressing thousands of Zanu PF supporters at Makaha Business Centre, Mudzi District, after commissioning a US$35 million gold plant in the area, the President said during their investigations, they had established that there was a third force involving Western capitals which was pushing unjustified price increases of basic goods.
“We noted that out of 16 banks that we have, only four were clean. We imposed hefty penalties on those found guilty. They pleaded with us not to publicise their identities saying if we do so, they will lose clients. So we agreed but warned them that if they repeat the indiscipline, we will have to make their identities known to the public,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said recent price increases were a temporary setback given the various interventions the Second Republic had instituted.
The measures include intensification of crop production of wheat to deal with geo-political challenges and a huge drive to construct irrigation projects to contain the effects of climate change.
The President castigated the United States government for writing to him courting Harare’ support in its proxy war with Russia where Washington has landed its support to Ukraine in the ongoing conflict pitting the two Eastern European countries.
He said it was absurd for the US, which has imposed sanctions on Russia, to seek support from Harare which was equally reeling from the effects of illegal sanctions from Washington.
Zimbabwe, said President Mnangagwa, will stand by Russia given their long-standing relationship and the fact that they were both victims of illegal sanctions from the US.
“Russia is a victim of sanctions and so is Zimbabwe. Why should victims of sanctions not collaborate with each other to strengthen their relationship?” he said.
Turning to 2023 harmonised elections, President Mnangagwa implored party members to vote the opposition out of office, both from Parliament and wards for local authorities.
He said before Independence, battles were fought using the bullet but post-Independence, battles were fought through the ballot.
“In the year 2023, we must vote the opposition out of Parliament and local authorities.
“Vaende kuvarungu vakavafomesa party (They should go to their Western masters who helped them to form their party)”, said President Mnangagwa.
He commended Mashonaland East Province, particularly Mudzi District, for remaining resolute in support of Zanu PF.
The President outlined interventions that the Government was doing to improve the lives of people.
President Mnangagwa later donated 120 computers to four schools in the district.
The event was attended by Vice President and Second Secretary of the party Dr Constantino Chiwenga, Government Ministers and senior party officials.