Fix the economy, Zanu PF tells ED

HARARE - Zanu PF bigwigs who gathered in Esigodini for their party’s annual conference last week pleaded with President Emmerson Mnangagwa to act quickly and decisively to stem the country’s worsening economic rot and corruption, in the interests of long-suffering Zimbabweans and social cohesion.

In their end of conference resolutions at the weekend, which were read by politburo member Chris Mushowe, the gathered party heavyweights also urged the government to stop insisting that the US dollar and the country’s surrogate currency, the bond, were equal — as they felt that this was harming the economy.

“There is a de facto exchange rate even though the government has said there is parity (between US dollars and bond notes.

“Government should also eradicate the three-tier pricing system that is causing suffering among Zimbabweans ... The government should revoke the licences of those charging the three-tier pricing system.

“Government also seems to be paying lip service to economic malpractices. Government should act and deal with those involved,” Mushowe said.

This came after Mnangagwa himself had earlier admitted that his government was battling to fix the country’s myriad economic problems, as manifested by the continually rising prices of basic goods and the acute shortages of foreign currency and fuel — among many other ills.

However, the Zanu PF leader said, his government was working hard to try and solve the multiple crises.

“Government, along with industry, continues to dialogue and interrogate the cost build-ups, towards finding lasting solutions which will bring permanent relief to consumers and greater stability to the economy.

“We also need to address the question of our own domestic currency once the correct economic fundamentals are in place,” he said.

With Zimbabwe’s economy continuing to tank — and long-suffering citizens desperate for some respite — Mnangagwa also told the thousands of Zanu PF delegates gathered in Esigodini that their focus must be solely on coming up with solutions to stem the rot.

At the same time, he reminded the assembled ruling party bigwigs that elected officials were servants of those people who had voted them into power — and not the other 
way round.

He also, once again, ruled out any chance of him forming a government of national unity (GNU) with opposition leader Nelson Chamisa — whom he said he had defeated “cleanly and fairly”.

The party’s conference took place against the backdrop of Zimbabwe remaining in the grip of a ginormous economic crisis, which has continued despite the country holding relatively peaceful elections on July 30.

It had been hoped by many people inside and outside the country that the polls would bury many of the problems that had been encountered during the ruinous rule of ousted former president Robert Mugabe.

The conference also took place in the midst of a damaging strike by public sector doctors, which has paralysed public health institutions in the past three weeks — as they continue to press for improved wages and working conditions.

“We are seized with the challenges in our health services sector. We appeal to those in the health services sector to always balance between matters of their welfare and the need to save lives.

“We noted that drugs are now in short supply and we are setting up NatPharm pharmacies in all provinces and prices of drugs will be affordable. We urge those in the health sector to be considerate,” Mnangagwa said.

Zimbabwe’s health delivery system has for a while now been battling several problems as a result of the country’s worsening economic climate.

Apart from the urgent issue of the striking doctors, long-suffering Zimbabweans have also had to contend with rising prices of basic consumer goods and widespread shortages of items such as cooking oil — which have disappeared from supermarket shelves.

Thousands of commuters have also had their travel plans thrown into chaos, due to the current fuel shortages being experienced in the country.

As a result, Mnangagwa has come under growing pressure from disillusioned citizens over the worsening local economic situation — after having been feted in his early days in office for superintending over arguably the most peaceful elections since Zimbabwe’s independence from Britain in 1980.

However, the government’s recent austerity measures — which are seen as the first steps towards reviving the country’s economy — have not found resonance with the majority of hurting Zimbabweans.

Meanwhile, Mnangagwa also announced in Esigodini that he would this week make public the findings of the commission of inquiry that he appointed to probe the deadly August 1 violence which left at least six people dead in Harare.

The shootings commission, which was chaired by former South African president Kgalema Motlanthe, handed over its findings to Mnangagwa two weeks ago — surprising many people in the process for the speed with which it had completed its work.

Apart from Motlanthe — other members of the inquiry were academics Lovemore Madhuku and Charity Manyeruke, Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ) ex-president Vimbai Nyemba, Rodney Dixon of the United Kingdom, former Tanzanian chief of the defence forces General Davis Mwamunyange and ex-Commonwealth secretary-general Chief Emeka Anyaoku of Nigeria.

Political analysts have also said the August 1 violence and the resultant deaths had done a lot of harm to Mnangagwa’s quests to mend years of frosty relations between Zimbabwe and Western governments.

The shootings occurred after millions of Zimbabweans had cast their votes in the polls to choose both a new Parliament and president — following the dramatic fall from power of Mugabe last November.

The elections were the first since 1980 to be held in the country without Mugabe’s participation, whose 37-year, iron-fisted rule was stunningly ended by a military intervention which triggered events that ended with his resignation.

The elections also marked the first time that the main opposition MDC was not represented by its founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who lost his brave battle against colon cancer on Valentine’s Day this year.

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Comments (5)

Bond Notes is not a currency remove it completely and adopt the US dollar only as a medium of exchange. Stop wasteful expenditure and address key issues like drugs, pure water and increase producer price for wheat and maize. Zimbabwe does not need a new parliament but clean water and eradicate Cholera.

Eddy - 17 December 2018

Someone is power hungry more than anyone else and keeps holding on to a ragged country instead of conceding defeat!!!!

Tau - 19 December 2018

tau be specific who are you referring to concede deafet I hope you are not meaning Chamisa if it is so how is he holding the country back and if he can do that so they is no conceding deafit here chinhu ndechake a loose can hold anything back noone will listen to him the only thing which is holding our country back is current government which is not fulfilling it's promises is Chamisa holding cash, fuel, and civil servants salaries does he also holding investors to come

Innocent - 19 December 2018

ED inherited a collapsed and failed state and went on pretending that he could revive it through mere cosmetic or superficial means and slogans like "Zimbabwe is open for business". There is nothing in the current policies and conduct of governance which demonstrates that he and his lieutenants understand and appreciate the enormity of the problem as well as the tasks and solutions required let alone conceive and implement measures to halt the precipitous fall in order to revive the country from the current comatose state. There is need for bold, fundamental as well as visionary initiatives and reforms that no one in the present government seems to comprehend or capable of identifying the right solutions for. No amount of reshuffling or shifting of musical chairs will rectify this monumental challenge to reverse the political, social and economic disaster and nightmare that we are living in today. God help Zimbabwe to arrest its present trajectory before something gives in sooner or later.

Jaikolu maison - 19 December 2018

V11 says the Election were "Stolen" so that the international community snubs ED and gets ZERO assistance. As a result ZIM continues to pain. V11 you will be president one day BUT after you, we will see Better, Brilliant and Sympathetic leaders. STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND SHOW EFFORT IN BUILDING ZIM.

Nyandoro - 19 December 2018

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