Mnangagwa accuses Zimbabwe business of back-stabbing him – asks: are we dealing with business or politicians disguised as chief executives?


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Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa has accused local business of back-stabbing him because he has made several concessions to enable business to operate more efficiently and improve capacity utilisation but instead they are sabotaging his efforts.

Writing in the Sunday Mail today, Mnangagwa listed at least five concessions his government has made to boost business but said business did not appreciate this and instead was hammering on the Zimbabwe dollar which is now trading at $3 000 to the greenback.

“Let me say that we made all the above concessions in good faith, and in the belief that we have a responsible business sector whose sole purpose is to manufacture and sell goods and services in the marketplace,” Mnangagwa said. 

“Yet it is becoming increasingly clear our trust is getting abused and even betrayed. We even wonder if at all we are dealing with Business anymore, or with politicians disguised as company executives, seeking a political upset. 

“Privileges can be withdrawn; the same way they are granted. Equally, politicians seeking to engineer market failures for definite political outcomes will be dealt with as political opponents, and through rules appropriate to politics.”

Mnangagwa said that short-circuiting set rules and cutting corners in business attract very stiff sanction. Those who break the country’s exchange control rules, or who launder money, will only have themselves to blame. 

“No one in business should doubt my government’s resolve to correct blatant market failures, and to counteract and foil sinister moves to destabilise our economy. Government’s responsibility is to protect the consumer, and to ensure stability in the market and inside the country. We will take all measures necessary to ensure there is stability, including painful ones should that ever become necessary,” he said.

“I am disappointed that while I am on a mission to explore ways to clear arrears and to resolve the national debt, certain elements in business think it helpful and appropriate to disturb the macroeconomy. Is this not the time when both business and government must show greater unity in order to pacify, give comfort and confidence to our creditors?

“We all seek lasting solution to these challenges around arrears and the debt, surely? Both have held us back; their resolution will see us lurch forward on a sustainable economic trajectory.

“Except it takes responsible business players, imbued with a serious national outlook to see matters this way. Is that too much to ask? I hope not.”

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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