ED cornered over deteriorating economy

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday met captains of industry to tackle challenges in the economy, but the meeting failed to come up with solutions, according to people with knowledge of the meeting.

BY FIDELITY MHLANGA

Mnangagwa met leaders from the Bankers’ Association of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce, Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, Grain Millers’ Association of Zimbabwe, Consumer Council of Zimbabwe, Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers and Chamber of Mines, among others.

Sources at the meeting said business indicated to the President that price distortions in the market were a creation of currency misalignment.

A business leader who attended the meeting said they stressed that the solution lay in liberalising the exchange rate.

“It will be painful in the short run, but convergence will be realised in the medium to long term, assuming austerity from the government holds,” he said.

Business also expressed concern that claiming parity existed between the United States Dollar and the RTGS was a source of distortions that creates inflationary pressures as well as promoting black market trading.

“How exactly do we expect to tame government spending by just outlining ambitious strategies which are devoid of figures? How many parastatals are to be weaned off by year-end, how many foreign missions do we want to close as cost-cutting measure, and how are we going to deal with pressure for bonuses this year given the fact that civil service salaries had been significantly eroded by black market dominance?” submissions made to the Mnangagwa read in part.

In a statement summarising the outcome of the interface, the Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services ministry noted that the meeting agreed that both private sector and government should find each other and speak with one voice.

“There was a lot of listening happening today as speaker after speaker gave their views on the state of our economy, that the threading link between speakers was that despite current challenges, Zimbabwe’s economy was expanding and, therefore, there was a higher demand for foreign currency. That messages from government must be in sync and consistent; that government needs to control its fiscal expenditure as a matter of priority in order to reduce fiscal imbalances,” the ministry said.

Mnangagwa told the meeting that the nation could not run away from its challenges and there was need to rebuild the economy.


The Information ministry said government had put in place measures to alleviate shortages of basic goods.

“As we start our preparations for the festive season, we can assure the nation that government is seized with and implementing solid plans to ensure that the increased demand of forex will be met.”

During the meeting, business applauded government for lifting Statutory Instrument (SI) 122 given the shortages of basic goods and industry’s capacity challenges. Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries president Sifelani Jabangwe, however, said he raised pertinent issues affecting the manufacturing industry and insisted the SI be suspended only until year-end.

“We are quite clear about what we want. We need policy consistency, communication and we highlighted that the suspension of SI 122 be temporary as it may affect the gains that we had achieved as an industry,” he said.

“The meeting was fruitful, but there are no immediate solutions, but from the engagement perspective, it is was productive.”

Chamber of Mines chief executive Isaac Kwesu said although he attended the meeting, it was not a platform for business to air its grievances, but to interact.

“At the meeting the issue of forex was not a chamber issue, but it was an entire business issue. This was just an interactive [meeting]. People who wanted to raise issues were asking questions. As a chamber, we were not waiting for this meeting to air our issues but we have done that in Parliament where we presented a paper last week,” he said.

15 Comments

  1. The junta has no solution for Zim its a shame after removing Uncle Bob we get this Pablo and the Mafia

  2. Comment…@theman, I didnt celebrate when the junta removed my beloved RGM who had told the nation that neither ED nor Amai Joy Mujuru had the capacity to lead Zimbabwe. RGM wanted Dr Sydney Sekeremayi to takeover. Pasi nejunta

    1. wakaipa xaz pamberi naRGM akaipa xaz ndiani angakwanise kuba 1 billion asina kubatawa hhaaaaa mufesi uya akaipa

    2. Who is RGM WHO WANTED TO DICTATE THINGS TO EVERBODY…Pasi na Mugabe.

  3. After plunging the country into this mess, the ‘new dispensation’ is now looking for solutions. When the ‘new dispensation’ came in there were no shortages of anything, prices were very stable so as exchange rates but now we don’t know whether we are going or coming. ED Pfeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee pai?

  4. ED has power but no ideas to turn the economy around, such interactive (i dont think it was that much consultative) meetings were supposed to have been carried out before Mthuli’s TSP was forced onto the fold. I cannot believe that they went and presented a document to the World in LIMA (Peru) and expected the World to accept it when back home it has no buy-in from industry commerce and the generality of citizenry

  5. I am not sure how someone running the government of the day can get cornered ,infact its the captains of industry who are now in a tight spot as some of them were getting all sorts of orders from all over to sabotage both the government and economy but all that will be coming to an end whether they like it or not as we have seen some companies now releasing stock which they were hoarding onto the market but there are a few remnants left and these will need to be weeded out and if persuasion does not work then chikurubu will do the trick.

    1. Wezhira Wezhara

      @Elisha you are spot on. The Captains of Industry are the ones who are cornered because they had become economic law unto themselves. They will have to compete with every kerk and jill on the market. Tava kuunza maBasic commodities avaiviga nekukwidza for no apparent reason. The headline should be “Captains of Industry Cornered by ED”.

  6. Hatirarame Tapereverwa

    Comment…Semuyenzaniso, nyika ahibudirire kana riri idi kuti kwakatengwa Lexus neV8 Land Cruisers dzeCommand Agriculture. Ndakawona varimi vachima paTV kuti KOMBAYINA HAVHESITAZ mashomasa. Zvasanaka here dayi kwakatengwa izvi TARAKITAZ nezvimwe zvinodiwa mukurima. Kana munyori wenhau akataura chokwadi panyaya iyika, ngatiti ZIYI-IIIIIIII nezvekuyimba nezvekuti Zimbababwe irikunetseka nekuti takatemerwa ZVIRANGO ZVEHUPFUMI. Asi kuti tirikuputsa nyika yedu pachedu. Asi kana mutapi wenhau akanyorawo manyepo, ngaadzidze kunyora chokwadi. Nekuti avo vatirikukoka kuti vazoita MABHIZIMUSI muno
    vane nzeve nzinonwa chokwadi nemanyepo, maziso ekuwona nhema neidi nepfungwa dzekuziva kuti varikuda rubatsiro ava vanofunga-aaa kana avafunge. Uye tosiyana nezvekutaura nezve HUWORI hwatisingagone nekusada kugadzirisa. YES TOGETHER WE CAN SWIM. WE ONLY NEED LEADERS.

  7. We’re still far from having solutions when the meeting really achieved nothing, yet some say it was “productive”. If it was there would be a “product” isn’t that so? Let’s call a spade by its name.

  8. So what?

  9. Hatirarame Tapereverwa

    Comment…@Chamuchati, tinodisa vatungamiri.

  10. ED is just clueless. He took over a reasonably functioning economy and now with his corrupt tendencies he has brought it to a complete halt. He basically has no idea how to end the current shortages which he has created. Where does he go from here? Who knows.

  11. Anotida Mupfawi

    People around the new Administration took advantage of the loopholes around the economy and legislation boundaries, now citizens have to tramp out of each month with bruises all over, swollen hearts and locked brains.Money got drained – now we have nothing but ourselves.

  12. Young Generation

    The better the devil we knew

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