Frightening or bullying people never works out well, does it? And threatening retailers will not bring in foreign currency in Zimbabwe right?
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has spoken again on price hikes by retailers and producers. This time the president went on to set up a ZANU PF politburo team which will be chaired by the party’s Second Secretary and Vice President General Constantino Chiwenga (Retired). Now everyone is aware of the role Chiwenga played for Mugabe to resign. Is Chiwenga supposed to frighten retailers and producers not to hike prices?
Now, has His Excellency suggested any concrete measures to curb price hikes? A measure that would work for both the people and retailers? Come to think of it, the president has been speaking much on dealing with price hikes, but has he actually offered any solutions? Here is what Simon Khaya Moyo said after the appointment of the task force:
Politburo discussed the issue of rampant price increases in the country and has identified various strategies to curtail this phenomenon. During the discussion, the First Secretary and President, Cde Mnangagwa, warned economic saboteurs that their days are numbered. “The party is aware of those that want to cause confusion and inflict economic pain on our people,”
Seems there is no solution yet from the president as he hasn’t offered one yet. Is the politburo going to provide solutions? The government claim to be dealing with price hikes yet they have not yet administered any ? Will targeting retailers and producers generate foreign currency in Zimbabwe or ease the cash crisis? Even if these retailers and producers who hike prices were to be arrested today the country would still be in a cash crisis.
The issue of the three-tier pricing system was also discussed and measures to curb this will be announced in due course. A Politburo ad-hoc committee has been put in place to deal with these issues decisively and will be chaired by the Vice President and Second Secretary, Retired General Constantino Chiwenga
There are no measures. Khaya Moyo is saying measures will be announced in due course. When is the due course? So they have no plan yet they have already started targeting retailers and producers who go out of their way to buy foreign currency on the black market so that they import products and sell. So if these retailers are arrested will the government be able to get foreign currency to import the necessary goods?
Are you not tired of the talk and no action?
What is required is for the government to come up with solutions before targeting anyone. What do consumers get from a politburo of a political party targeting retailers if not shortage of products in the market?
Minister of Industry and Commerce, Mike Bimha has blamed speculation, aided by misleading social media reports, as a contributory factor to the pricing madness. Social media, really?
Bimha then called for continued efforts to increase production, attract new investment and acquire new machinery for the productive sectors of the economy.
Now where is the money to increase production and acquire new machinery? Is there a budget set aside for the nation to accomplish all this? Isn’t this the time to leave out speculation and misleading social media reports out of this whole narrative? Prices are increasing because of simple principles of demand and supply period.
Bimha also said some items were removed from the list of goods that were protected under SI64, (these had been banned from being imported into the country). Products scrapped from the list include milk, cooking oil, rice, meat and soap, amongst others. Khaya Moyo said this would allow people to import the goods on their own at a cheaper price.
Isn’t that a bad move? And if people import goods for themselves will they be given foreign currency to do so or they will have to source it from the black market?
The government needs to come up with measures to source foreign currency and cash itself before targeting anyone right? We don’t want to waste time focusing on the wrong problems while ignoring the real problem: cashless nation.
Prices have doubled up because of shortage of foreign currency for retailers who buy it at the black market because the bank doesn’t have enough foreign currency to import produce. The president himself and the politburo team should know that.
Another thing they should know is that price controls and price slashes didn’t work in 2008 and they sure won’t work in 2018. Please ZANU PF Politburo, focus on the real problem behind price increases before you usher us back to 2008.