Zimbabwe will stop at nothing to ensure that the lives of its people become comfortable, Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa told the Senate on Thursday.
She was responding to a question from Senator Morgen Komichi who wanted to know what had caused the black market rate to go up as it had.
The black market rate has gone up to $3 000 to the United States dollar within the past few days.
Responding to the question as leader of government business in the Senate, Mutsvangwa said there were some naughty people who inflated prices whenever civil servants got a salary increase.
There were also those who wanted to strangle the people of Zimbabwe every time the country went for elections so that they could get rid of the government.
She outlined a number of measures that the government was implementing to rectify the situation.
Here is her full response.
HON. SEN. KOMICHI: Thank you Hon. President. My apologies, I may pose a question that has already been posed because I came late. What has caused the black-market rate to go up as it has? The salary increase we got a few months ago has been eroded. Before the salary increase, the workers were earning much more than what they are now actually earning. There is now hyperinflation, prices have gone up and people are being hurt by what has been happening. May I be enlightened as to what steps the Government is taking to ensure that the parallel rate does not go overboard and that prices should be reduced to make basic commodities affordable to those that earn little. I thank you.
THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION, PUBLICITY AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA): Thank you President of the Senate. I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Komichi for his question, which is a pertinent one. The issue of price increases is quite disturbing to the Government. In the past two Cabinet meetings, it was top on our agenda.
What happens in this country is that there are those people that I might refer to as being naughty who when they hear that civil servants have been given salary increase, inflate their prices then there are those who take money to the black market and cause the black market rate to rise with the intention to erode the Zimbabwean currency. As a Government, we know that the world-over, people use their own currencies. As Government, we are into the multi-currency era because we have observed that the enemies of this country are trying to strangle the people of Zimbabwe by constantly attacking our local currency. That is why the Government took such a decision.
Be that as it may, the Government is seriously seized with the matter and Government has put together an urgent committee made up of the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, the Minister of Industry and Commerce and the Minister of Information Publicity and Broadcasting Services that they come up, investigate and research. This research should be primary research. They should talk to the primary retailers; in fact, I would say all retailers so that we find the reasons why the local manufacturers of these goods are raising their prices.
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