‘Find sustainable solutions to economic problems’

INDUSTRY stakeholders yesterday said while government’s decision to lift the ban on the import of basic goods was a stop-gap measure, there was need for a long-term vision to address deindustrialisation and reviving the agricultural sector, which is seen as the backbone of the economy.

BY TAFADZWA MUTACHA

Government recently repealed sections of Statutory Instrument (SI) 122 of 2017 to increase the flow of basic goods into the market ahead of the festive season and ease pressure on foreign currency demand on the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

This followed the disappearance of a raft of basic commodities from supermarket shelves, which ended up on the black market at high prices.

Speaking during an AMH Conversations meeting in Harare, Buy Zimbabwe founder and chief executive Munyaradzi Hwengwere argued that government’s actions were supposed to speak to a long-term economic vision.

“SI122 of 2017 should have been repealed with the long term vision of creating jobs and ensuring that we create wealth in the country. It’s not about filling supermarket shelves. It’s about creating jobs and ensuring that people have money in their pockets,” he said.

Hwengwerere said the country’s major problem was that it had become heavily dependent on imports and had largely become a consumptive economy.

“We cannot continue to import while we are not exporting. The interim is understandable, but where are we going with it?” he queried.

Hwengwere said there was need for sustainable measures in dealing with problems in the economy and ensuring that industry was up and running.

“You cannot rig the value chain, you cannot speak consumption without creation, The short term is supposed to speak to the long term. Whatever steps we take, we must take them in the right direction,” he said.

Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers’ Association president Denford Mutashu, however, defended government’s action, saying consumers had long suffered the pain of shortages, with prices soaring every day and that the repealing of SI 122 of 2017 was designed to meet consumer demands.

“S1 122 is a very contentious issue. You would want your industrial base to be vibrant and supported, but in the absence of the necessary support that industry requires, which currently is not sufficient in view of the absence of foreign currency,” he said.

“The decision to repeal SI 122 is largely going to benefit consumers more than it does to business. Business has been protected for the past two years. Consumers have suffered serious price increases, shortages and empty shelves, with shops opening late and closing early because they do not have products.”

He said it did not make sense that in some instances, a 2 litre bottle of cooking oil sells at $25.

“Government needs to be sincere about fixing issues that concern consumers. These things they are trying to fix are issues they could have dealt with a long time ago and the consumers have endured a lot,” Interfoods managing director, Star Precious Ndoro, said.

7 Comments

  1. Your Name (required):Special Black

    The gvt should be aware now that it is deep in the economic war front. All what is needed now is to identify and remove economic war mongers from the society to prisons for years or force them out of business by slapping them with heavy fines that would make them lose property. we can put measures to boost economy but as long as economic criminals are there we wont go any where. Alarmist, forex dealers, black marketeers, companies and shop owners should be put in line.

  2. Who created this mess, nhai Your Name (required):Special Black, and what measures have you put in place to boost the economy?

  3. The head of government is urging everyone not to panic and at this stage the true colors of those in manufacturing sector or industry among others who want to participate in building the economy is coming out and once this seperation exercise is over those who still think there will be a transitional unit will close shop and only to realise their mistake after a couple of months and same time new companies will emerge but for the sabotuers you will sooner rather that later be counting your losses and infact others will end up in jail especially those who continue to flout basic rules hoping to make a few bucks by engaging in illicit deals .

  4. Your Name (required):Special Black

    If it is not a contribution but a mockery you are wrong. now let me tell you. your friends called for sanctions, throwing spanners into the economy just to make sure that people suffer so that they become helpless and vote for you. this problem started when a crop of people with no roots came in 2000 with the help of anti 1980s. we will pull through no matter what. the type of my cell produce what you mocked me kambeva ke cell.

  5. The economy of zimbabwe needs some transformations yes but reforms may be put in place but remember this is a process and cannot be completed over the night

  6. Some of these so called local m-facturers/producers are real thieves who are nt in jail,where else under the sun does a 2l c/oil btle sell@ $25,u nv employed any1 since gvt intrdcd SI64,bt only hiking prices,now manga majaira kubira povo,hamunyare seiko?

  7. How many times has Zanu PF introduced import bans to protect local companies only to have the ban lifted again a few years down the line. This is a regime that has no clue what it is doing.

    “INDUSTRY stakeholders yesterday said while government’s decision to lift the ban on the import of basic goods was a stop-gap measure, there was need for a long-term vision to address deindustrialisation and reviving the agricultural sector, which is seen as the backbone of the economy.” Our industrial leaders too have no clue what they are talking about, because they would not be expecting blood from a rock!

    Zimbabwe’s economy will never recover whilst the country remains a pariah state ruled by vote rigging thugs!

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