Mnangagwa issues stern warning to business sector


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President Emmerson Mnangagwa has warned the business sector, which he described as “uncaring, insensitive, irresponsible, inhuman and unpatriotic”, that his administration will not stand by and leave Zimbabweans at the mercy of a small group with rent seeking and profiteering tendencies.

Mnangagwa’s warning comes hardly a week after his deputy Constantino Chiwenga issued a similar warning against what he called “financial terrorists”.

In his message to mark International Workers Day today, Mnangagwa said his administration was committed to restoring the decency and dignity of all workers.

“We are, however, deeply concerned by the counter-productive machinations by uncaring, insensitive, irresponsible, inhuman and unpatriotic numbers of industry, business and commerce who continue to frustrate and undermine the economic, modernisation and industrialisation agenda,” he said.

“The wanton, unjustified increases in prices are unpalatable and may point to some other sinister motives. This conduct must stop forthwith.

“My government will not stand by and leave workers and the generality of our people at the mercy of a small group with rent seeking and profiteering tendencies.”

Mnangagwa’s administration has been unable to stop spiralling prices since it re-introduced foreign currency accounts in October last year.

Inflation has soared from 5.4 percent to 166 percent but some estimates say it is as high as 270 percent.

Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube last week urged business to tie prices to the consumption basket and not the exchange rate because people do not earn salaries to buy United States dollars but goods.

“It is bad economics, very bad economics where you tie price increases directly to the exchange rate. Good economics says tie prices around a consumption basket, you don’t earn your salary to go and buy US dollars. So, inflation thinking should be hinged around consumption basket and not US dollars,” he said.

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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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