COMMENT:Let us work together to to build the economy

The Chronicle

If they were new, the developments in the economy in recent weeks were going to stagger us.

A sharp, rapid depreciation of the national currency and a resulting spike in prices.  The timing — just before and after the Government proclaimed the election date.  

The motivation – to stir public anger on the eve of a general election so people vote the other way.

This has been the trend over the past 23 years, a strategy which has always collapsed as the Government always takes immediate corrective action and the people proceeding to vote wisely.

President Mnangagwa spoke about this oft-tried strategy on Tuesday at the 369th Ordinary Session of the ruling party Politburo in Harare.

“As we convene today and focus on the elections, the usual machinations and heinous acts of our country’s detractors to reverse our development agenda are glaring,” he said. 

“This is evidenced by their antics and asymmetrical warfare tactics, which include the attack on our currency and the wanton increase in prices of basic commodities. Vakanyangira yaona (We have read their plot). They will never succeed and perpetrators are being brought to book.  Zanu-PF is a party from the people, by the people and for the people. We will always stand with the people to guarantee our collective aspiration to remain masters of our own destiny”.

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We are disappointed as the President is at what business is doing.  It is wrong for them to seek to make unjust profits at the expense of the customer.  For this reason, we are with him when he declares that his administration will stand with the people and that the culprits will be brought to book.  

They, indeed, must be brought to book so that they stop mixing politics and business in the manner they are doing.

Businesses must always remember that they cannot be in business without the customer and on the other hand, customers need business.  

While we support the Government warning of possible punishment on the profiteers, we urge them to avoid the harsh penalties by exercising restraint in their pricing.  They must respect the fundamentals in their businesses.  

We don’t think rejecting payment in local currency as we report elsewhere in this edition today, is good business.  We, too, are of the considered view  that exacting black market rates of up to 10 000 to a US$ is not good business when the official rate is around 5 978 to the greenback.

Businesses  must support the Government’s untiring efforts to grow the economy, stabilise the exchange rate and so on. 

Let everyone of us work together to build the economy, it’s ours together.