President Emmerson Mnangagwa today warned errant business people who continue to use the multi-tier pricing system that their days are numbered as the government will soon descend heavily on those who remain defiant to its call to charge in local currency.
He said this while launching the Mutare urban renewal project that will see the transformation of some houses in the eastern border city’s oldest suburb Sakubva, some of which were built in the 1920s, into high-rise flats.
The Mutare urban renewal project, which is being financed by Banc ABC, will also see a state-of-the-art bus terminus, vending market, an improved stadium, shopping malls as well as a new suburb and shopping complex complete with hotels being built around a gemology centre in Fern Valley.
Construction is set to commence immediately with Mnangagwa expected to return to check on progress by March next year as Mutare takes the lead in establishing itself as a smart city.
The project is in line with Mnangagwa’s vision of transforming the country into an upper middle income economy by 2030.
“There are some business people who are still practicing multi-tier pricing. There are now laws which clearly state that we now have our own currency. As we go tichazvambura avo vanenge vasingateereri mirairo. Things are going to be straight, straight. We are not going to be hesitant because we don’t enact laws to please each other but to develop the country and move forward,” Mnangagwa said.
He said business people should be disciplined, adding those who were doing such illegal practices might enjoy for now but “the long arm of the law will soon catch up with them”.
“What we want is discipline, discipline, from you business people wherever you are. Please be disciplined. You may enjoy for now but the long arm of the law will catch up with you,” he said.
He said those caught should not cry foul and blame his administration for taking such decisive measures.
“Tirikugadzirisa nyika yedu irurame vana vedu vave nehupenyu hwakanaka mangwana (We are rebuilding our country so that our children can have a better future. We must leave this country in a better position when we leave,” he said.
Mnangagwa said following unjustified price hikes by some the businesses, the government had introduced subsidies on basic commodities such as cooking oil, sugar, mealie-meal and salt to cushion the majority.
“On the issue of prices, there are seven basic commodities such as cooking oil, mealie-mealie and others which were just hiked and I said aaah! What we do we do? Last week, I was told that the price of 10 kg of mealie-mealie has jumped to $105 and I reduced the price to $50. If you see those selling at the above the gazetted price please report to the police, they will be arrested,” he said.
He said in the next few days Finance Minister Prof Muthili Ncube would announce other five commodities that would be subsidized by the government.
“Those are the safety nets we are putting in place to ensure that our people are cushioned against high cost of living,” he said.-New Ziana