MUTARE– President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Wednesday warned businesses against charging for goods and services in foreign currency.
By Donald Nyarota
President Mnangagwa made these remarks while launching the Sakubva Urban Renewal Project in Mutare, which is aimed at revamping the city’s oldest suburb Sakubva.
Under the Sakubva Urban Renewal Project, bankrolled by BancABC, will also see the erection of state-of-the-art long-distance bus terminus, vending markets, a stadium and shopping malls.
President Mnangagwa said construction will commence immediately just after the official ground breaking event before applauding the city fathers for taking the lead in trying to position Mutare as a smart city.
He said the project was part of the vision of transforming the country into an upper middle-income economy by 2030, which he said was now threatened by unscrupulous business people.
He said business people should be disciplined, adding that those who were doing such illegal practices might enjoy for now but “the long arm of the law will soon catch up with them”.
“There are some business people who are still practicing multi-tier pricing. There are now laws which clearly state that we now have our own currency. As we go tichazvambura avo vanenge vasingateereri mirairo. (We will hit hard those that do not follow the law).
“Things are going to be straight, straight. We are not going to be hesitant because we don’t enact laws to please each other but to develop the country and move forward,” President Mnangagwa said.
He added, “What we want is discipline, discipline, from you business people wherever you are. Please be disciplined. You may enjoy for now but the long arm of the law will catch up with you.”
President Mnangagwa said his administration will show no leniency to offenders as they aim to revive the economic fortune of the country, saying those caught should not cry foul or blame his administration for taking such decisive measures.
“Tirikugadzirisa nyika yedu irurame vana vedu vave nehupenyu hwakanaka mangwana (We are rebuilding our country so that our children can have a better future. We must leave this country in a better position when we leave,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said following unjustified price hikes by some businesses, the government had introduced subsidies on basic commodities such as cooking oil, sugar, mealie-meal and salt to cushion the majority.
He assured the nation that soon there will be affordable and subsidized food commodities to shield people from rising inflation, urging people to report errant business that overcharge.
He said in the next few days Finance Minister Prof Mthuli Ncube would announce other five commodities that would be subsidized by the government
“On the issue of prices, there are seven basic commodities such as cooking oil, mealie-meal and others. Last week, I was told that the price of 10 kg of mealie-meal has jumped to $105 and I reduced the price to $50
“If you see those selling above the gazetted price please report to the police, they will be arrested.
“Those are the safety nets we are putting in place to ensure that our people are cushioned against high cost of living,” he said.