President Mnangagwa said Government is aware of economic saboteurs who are wantonly increasing prices of basic commodities and services.
He said these saboteurs want to create despondency and mayhem within the country. “We cannot allow this indiscipline that has brought untold suffering on our masses to continue unabated” said President Mnangagwa while addressing delegates to the Second Zanu–PF National Youth League Assembly Meeting in Harare on Thursday.
President Mnangagwa warned the defiant and unrepentant businesspeople that their businesses risk being closed as what has happened to some service stations. The Government has gone out of its way to create platforms to engage businesses before implementing major economic policies but what is coming out clear is that businesses are wolves in sheep’s clothing and should be treated as such.
In order to expand platforms to engage businesses, President Mnangagwa has established a Presidential Advisory Council (PAC) whose members are experts drawn from business, health and social protection, agriculture, governance and human rights, faith-based organisations, tourism, education, minorities, ICT, civil society, communication and media.
What then is the excuse for businesses to continue sabotaging the implementation of Government programmes meant to improve the people’s welfare? The same businesses that are charging extortionist prices are not increasing salaries of their own workers.
The worst affected are the rural people who can no longer afford the prices of most basics. Local producers of some of the overpriced goods have gone to the extent of publishing recommended retail prices but these are being ignored with impunity by the unscrupulous business people.
The issue of boycotting businesses that are overcharging can only work where there is an alternative but at the moment there is no alternative because retailers are behaving the same.
The issue of overpricing of goods and services should be addressed urgently because it is causing suffering of the people thereby creating a negative perception of the ongoing currency reforms.
Government has repeatedly warned that it will take tough measures against businesses that are overcharging but we are of the view that it has taken too long to act. Government should crack the whip now in order to restore sanity in the market place.