The Sunday Mail
Banks and companies involved in acts of economic sabotage through manipulation of local currency and unjustifiably raising prices of goods and services could lose their licences as Government moves to restore order.
Addressing a rally in Epworth yesterday to celebrate ZANU PF legislator Cde Zalerah Makari’s by-election victory, President Mnangagwa said the Government had uncovered the culprits behind the currency sabotage that has seen the local currency losing value on the parallel market.
“We have a challenge in our economy, especially around prices and exchange rates. We are working out a solution, we are now closing in on companies that are behind what we have been witnessing lately,” said President Mnangagwa.
He said there is a third-hand pulling strings behind the scenes, to the detriment of the local economy.
“These economic players are not acting alone, they are being sent by foreign countries hostile to Zimbabwe to weaken our local currency. So we are devising methods to deal with them, we will close some big companies and banks. These will be announced in due course,” said President Mnangagwa.
The past few weeks have seen the Zimbabwe dollar losing much value on the parallel foreign currency market while prices of most goods and services have been going up significantly without justification.
This threatens to undo the economic gains made over the past few years. The economy is expected to grow by 5,5 percent this year. The celebratory rally was symbolic, as the ZANU PF by-election campaign was launched in Epworth.
During the campaign trail, President Mnangagwa promised residents in the dormitory town that they would get title deeds to regularise their homes and yesterday he said the deal was still on despite a technical delay.
“We promised you title deeds, I remember telling you the last time that we had completed the geospatial mapping, which allows us to see the state of the settlement and we were ready to give title deeds. However, our security told us that some crooks were printing their own title deeds. We had to go back on the drawing table and find a way around that, we are now introducing biometric title deeds with security features.”
The documents would be of the same calibre as the recently introduced electronic passports.
“These are title deeds which cannot be fraudulently printed by individuals. These title deeds have the same security features as e-passports. We procured equipment from Germany, which allows us to print secure documents with impenetrable security features.”
At least 50 000 beneficiaries would receive the title deeds under phase one.
“So far we have ordered for 50 000 to be printed, some of which will be brought here,” said President Mnangagwa as he assured the people of Epworth that their issues would be solved.
“Yesterday, your MP (Makari) told me that there is a struggle for water in Epworth. I have four Presidential borehole drilling rigs, three that are in Harare and one in Binga. So yesterday around 6pm I called the team running the scheme and I told them of this event, I told them that they should spend the night drilling one borehole. I am proud to say by this morning they had completed drilling the borehole and installing the whole system,” said President Mnangagwa.
“It will take time to solve water challenges, because there are structural issues which need to be taken care of. But in the meantime, we will put two boreholes in each of the seven wards in Epworth,” added President Mnangagwa.
The President also opened Mabvazuva Satellite Clinic in Epworth Ward 7, meant to take the pressure off Epworth Clinic, which is due to be upgraded to a District Hospital.
“When I opened the clinic, I was with my deputy, who happens to be Health and Child Care Minister. He said he will equip the clinic with beds and he also said he will recruit nurses to work within the facility,” said President Mnangagwa.
In her remarks, Cde Makari thanked the people of Epworth for voting for her during the polls.
She organised a two-day feast for her constituency, with the rally being the kick-off event.
Cde Makari had sourced seven beasts of cattle to be slaughtered as relish during the festivities, but ZANU PF added 10 beasts.
“We had a two month campaign, going against someone who had been in office for three years. We told Epworth that their issues need ZANU PF and the Presidium, not these fly-by-night parties. This is just a taste of what is to come in 2023, we expect that after the census we will have about 200 000 people in Epworth and you can count all of those as your votes, President,” she said.
She said her constituency still had a long list of needs which included schools, boreholes, a publicly owned mortuary. She also appealed for Epworth to be accorded town status.
Cde Makari prevailed in the March 26 by-election, taking back the seat that the ruling party had lost to the opposition in 2018.