Zimbabwe, which is experiencing run-away prices as business continues to peg prices on the black-market rate of the local currency against United States dollar, is now pinning its hopes on the Tripartite Negotiating Forum which will bring government, business and labour together.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa is expected to sign the TNF bill tomorrow paving way for the three key players to pursue measures that will bring stability to prices which have rocketed since the government started implementing its transitional stabilisation programme in October.
The government has been under pressure from civil servants to pay them in United States dollars or at least to give them the equivalent of what they were earning before the government liberalised the exchange rate.
Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube has refused to budge saying there is no way he can pay civil servants in US dollars as the government does not export anything.
He has also refused to give in to hefty wage demands but has agreed to review salaries and perks for civil servants in line with inflation and not the exchange rate movements.
With the local currency, the RTGS dollar, continuing to fall against the greenback, most people are now earning a fifth of what they earned in September.
The situation is so bad that one economist warned businesses that they might close down in two months if they continue to increase prices as consumers will no longer be able to buy their goods.
Though thoroughly disturbed by the escalating prices, which it considers economic sabotage, Mnangagwa’s administration has refused to introduce price controls as it continues to tell the world that the country is open for business.
Instead, it says, it will strengthen and deepen social safety nets to cushion consumers from the adverse effects of its austerity measures.