Nduduzo Tshuma in Harare
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday said Government was working on interventions to arrest cash shortages in the country as he deplored profiteering tendencies by retailers through random hiking of prices of basic commodities.
In his closing remarks at the Zanu-PF Extraordinary Congress here, the party’s First Secretary said the issue of cash shortages was of serious concern to all Zimbabweans.
He, however, called for patience, saying Zimbabweans will soon realise the benefits of a new economic era.
“I realise that people still have very little access to their hard earned cash. The frustration is felt more so now as we prepare for the festive season and thereafter the beginning of the school term,” said President Mnangagwa.
“My Government remains committed to redress the structural problems that have resulted in this state of affairs.
President Mnangagwa said the $1,5 billion facility availed to the country by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) in the past week would help ease cash shortages in the country.
“I wish to mention that we have discussed with the Afreximbank which will assist us in this sector as well as other financial institutions,” he said.
“To this end, comprehensive measures will be rolled out to address this issue starting of course with fiscal discipline, drastic reduction of the budget deficit and increased productivity. I urge all of us to be patient; soon we will see the benefits of the new economic era.”
Turning to retailers, President Mnangagwa said they should have the people at heart in their conduct of business.
“I exhort all retailers and service providers to desist from wantonly increasing prices,” he said.
“I urge us to stop profiteering tendencies; let us have the people at heart; let us give our new economic era a chance. We can achieve this by working together and putting our nation first.”
President Mnangagwa said the Government was committed to turning around the fortunes of its people through empowerment programmes and the creation of jobs.
“On my part, I assure you that these are not pipe-dreams. Government will move with haste to ensure that all agreed programmes become a reality in the shortest possible period. Both the party and its Government will no longer be about talk but about work and delivery,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said the Government would give particular attention to social services and infrastructural development.
He said the Government was working on constructing 400 000 housing units throughout the country by the time of going for elections next year with a return to proper planning of settlements.
“On housing delivery, we will return to proper planning of settlements and provision of the requisite development infrastructure such as roads, water, sanitation and power,” said President Mnangagwa.
“The age of land barons is over, so too is the age of haphazard settlements which crop up overnight. All who were perpetrators of this corrupt and untenable practice must stand warned.”
President Mnangagwa reiterated calls for the collective fight against corruption, saying party members should show exemplary behaviour.
“Corruption, corruption, corruption! Let us vow as a party that this evil must come to an end Now! As a party let us stop corruption,” he said.
“Let us be exemplary in our conduct and dealings with society. Let us never allow people to use their party membership as a cover to be corrupt, to cut corners doing shady deals. This party should never be a haven for corrupt opportunists and the vile of our society, No! No!No!.”
President Mnangagwa called for a change of behaviour from some cadres, saying the party must lead the new trajectory that the country is taking.
“The party itself must also set an example of the kind of new course we are on as a nation. In the recent past, the party and its prominent members have at times demonstrated extravagance and wastefulness not befiting a revolutionary, liberation movement. No more,” he said.
“In this new era, we will once again be a frugal, humble institution whose every fibre is dedicated to the wellbeing of the Zimbabwean people. The decision to cut the length and budget of this Congress was taken within this spirit and as a clear signal of our intentions.”