Mnangagwa to meet business tomorrow


President Emmerson Mnangagwa is to meet the business community tomorrow in what his spokesman George Charamba said would be a predominantly interactive meeting.

Mnangagwa is under siege with prices rocketing, basic commodities in short supply and the surrogate bond note currency plummeting against the United States dollar.

Main opposition leader Nelson Chamisa has called for a national transition authority to stabilise the situation but Mnangagwa said a government of national unity was not on his agenda.

“On Monday morning, His Excellency the President is hosting the business community — bankers and industrialists — to a breakfast meeting at State House,” Charamba told the Sunday Mail.

“This is the beginning of intensive interaction between the President and various economic players as the country works to recover the economy in line with the Transitional Stabilisation Programme.

“The meeting will be predominantly interactive. The President wants to get the thinking of the business community in respect of the broad policies Government has spelt out and in respect to the recent measures taken to stabilise the supply of goods on the local market,” Charamba said.

Mnangagwa’s government recently announced a two percent tax which business initially rejected but later changed its mind.

It also removed import restrictions on more than 30 products which industry says could lead to the closure of some companies.

Sources say while the government wanted to protect local industry and thereby create jobs, it was forced to remove import restrictions because some companies were hoarding their products either to export them or in anticipation of price increases.

Most businesses, especially the pharmaceutical industry, are now demanding payment in United States dollars but have also hiked their prices.

Mnangagwa has indicated that he is not going back on his reform programme saying this will be painful but necessary.

Dialogue with business could pave way for a smoother transition if the two pull together.


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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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