President Emmerson Mnangagwa whose mantra ‘Zimbabwe is open for business’ has been scuttled by the chaos in the market which has seen prices of commodities skyrocket and the real time gross settlement dollar and the bond note plummet against the United States dollar has warned that the net is closing in on the personalities behind the wicked and criminal activities.
He also condemned the wanton peddling of false news through the social media which he said was causing alarm and despondency among the people.
Speaking at Bindura University of Science Education yesterday, Mnangagwa said his government was aware and gravely concerned by the manipulation of the economy by a group of people and businesses aimed at destabilising the market by creating artificial shortages and a black market economy.
“We also note the wanton peddling of false news through social media to cause despondency and alarm among people,” he was quoted by the Herald as saying.
“We are now certain and clear of the personalities behind these wicked and criminal activities and the net is closing in on them. We will soon name, shame and bring to book these gluttonous individuals and companies.”
Source say cash barons across the country who are fuelling the black market were identified a week or so ago and the kingpins have been interviewed one by one.
They include businessmen and senior Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front officials and at least a deputy minister.
Newsday today said the cash barons include former cabinet ministers. It said search warrants for the culprits were issued by Harare magistrate Elisha Singano on Thursday.
According to a source, the authorities are targeting people with unexplained huge sums of money in their banks and have been tracking their transactions and asking them what the payments were for.
While the exercise seems to be targeting all cash barons but especially those from the ruling party, the opposition Movement for Democratic Change said the cash crisis, multiple exchange rates and the bullish trend in respect of the prices of the US dollar was a direct result of fiscal mismanagement.
“The people of Zimbabwe deserve better than a group of self-imposed leaders who are quick to make reckless announcements only good enough for the symptoms,” the MDC, which maintains that the present crisis is because Mnangagwa is an illegitimate president, said in a statement yesterday.
“We in the MDC are aware that ZANU-PF led by Mnangagwa does not want to take responsibility for its corruption and failure which has now resulted in economic meltdown and the suffering of the masses.
“They play the blame game, blaming everyone except the trees and the stones. They blame the opposition for sabotage; blame shops for profiteering and blame the citizen for panic buying, surprisingly shortages include drugs in pharmacies.”