Nduduzo Tshuma in Goromonzi, Mashonaland East
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa yesterday said there is no going back on the reintroduction of the local currency as he warned those who hoard cash and deal in foreign currency that the law will soon catch up with them.
Officially opening the Zanu-PF 18th National People’s Conference at Goromonzi High School here, President Mnangagwa said no progressive nation can develop without its own currency.
“No progressive nation can develop without its own currency. The introduction of our own currency will undoubtedly enhance our economic stability, growth and competitiveness,” said President Mnangagwa.
He, however, said there were some who were opposed to the adoption of the local currency despite the fact that every country should have its own currency and Zimbabwe is no exception.
“Those who continue to deal in money markets, I say to you all, the long arm of the law will soon catch up with you. We will not revert to the basket of currencies,” said President Mnangagwa.
He said measures had been put in place to ensure adequate cash supply.
“The law enforcement agents will move in to deal with those who are hoarding cash and causing artificial shortage of cash. The illegal trading in foreign currency must be stopped in line with our laws. It is incumbent upon all citizens of our great country and party members in particular, to protect and defend our currency as a symbol of national sovereignty and pride,” he said.
The President said the Government will continue to implement robust and responsive policies to resuscitate and grow the economy.
He said the 2020 budget is aimed at stimulating higher productivity, growth and job creation while the austerity measures introduced in the course of the year were meant to bring the economy back on its rails.
“In spite of the various shocks which negatively impacted our projected economic growth, such as Cyclone Idai and the drought, notable strides have been made. These include the reduction of the budget deficit and introduction of key macro-fiscal reforms aimed at stabilising and resuscitating the economy, in line with the Transitional Stabilisation Programme,” said President Mnangagwa.
The President said the Government had implemented a cocktail of measures across sectors in line with the country’s industrialisation agenda.
He said the Government was concerned about the prevailing high prices for basic commodities charged by some retailers.
The President said the Government will continue to put safety nets to cushion the vulnerable members of society such as subsidised mealie meal, ZUPCO buses and the removal of duty on selected food commodities.
“Retailers should not sell subsidised basic commodities in bulk to ensure equitable access to these products.
“Government will continue to award its workers the cost of living adjustment. A once off bonus to pensioners and their dependants will be paid before Christmas holidays to cushion our senior citizens,” said President Mnangagwa.
The President said the Government had put measures to mitigate the effects of drought by reviving irrigation schemes across the country.
He said DDF will provide tillage services throughout the country to assist farmers whose livestock was affected by drought.
President Mnangagwa said the land audit will result in the downsizing of some farms while multiple land owners will be left with one farm per family.
He said those implicated in the Report on the Commission of Inquiry into Urban State Land which revealed excesses and corruption will face the full wrath of the law without fear or favour.
President Mnangagwa said the commitment to economic productivity through hard honest work must permeate all Thematic Committees.
“Concrete implementation plans must also be an integral component of our resolutions. We must be flexible, responsive and adaptive as we journey towards the Zimbabwe we all want. It is no longer business as usual. Forward ever, backward never,” he said.
Meanwhile, President Mnangagwa said in line with the spirit of devolution, the celebration of national holidays will now be rotated in provinces moving away from the old culture of holding the main programme in Harare.