He said there was no way of avoiding these hardships as populist policies would only make things worse.
Most Zimbabweans who have witnessed fuel, cash and power shortages despite an increase in the price of fuel of nearly 500 percent are not likely to swallow this, but some say this is the only way to go if Zimbabwe is to start growing again to become an upper idle income country by 2030.
Zimbabwe introduced a transitional stabilisation programme in October last year to steer the country back to recovery. This is a two-year programme which ends next year.
The programme saw the introduction of a two percent tax on electronic transactions as well as currency reforms which resulted in the re-introduction of the Zimbabwe dollar last month.
There has, however, been strong resistance to the reforms, especially the currency reforms with some especially in the opposition insisting that Zimbabwe must continue to use the United States dollar or adopt the South African rand.
Zimbabwe adopted a multi-currency regime in 2009 to stabilise the economy after inflation had reached 21 figure levels.
“I am aware that our current austerity measures are causing some hardships to our people. But this is necessary for us to have a stable and growing economy which is in sync with others in the region and elsewhere. If we choose populist policies, we will be doing a disservice to our country,” Mnangagwa said at his party’s politburo meeting yesterday.
“So we must brace up and endure the hardships, albeit always explaining to our people what we are trying to do. As I highlighted in the past, the situation will begin to get better by the end of the year.”
Mnangagwa said his party should ensure that it informs the people about what it is doing so as to win their hearts.
“The majority of our citizens live in rural areas, as such we must make more concerted efforts to cascade socio-economic development to them,” he said.
“As a party, a large portion of our supporters and members are based at that level, so we must be at the forefront of driving development within their communities. We must continue to win the hearts and minds of the Party during all forthcoming by- elections.
“We must serve the people and always seek to make their lives better by fulfilling the promises we made in our election manifesto,’ he said.
Mnangagwa, who was in Rwanda recently, seems to be heeding the advice of his colleague, Paul Kagame who said: “Before you even convince anybody from outside so that they do not have wrong perceptions about you, convince your own people. Make sure they are with you.”