African News Agency and IOL
The ruling Zanu-PF party this week appealed to the government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa to allow Zimbabweans to import basic commodities that were banned two years ago as basic goods continue to disappear from shops.
Government banned the importation of various basic commodities which was a measure of controlling the import bill.
The ruling party, which won the July 30 elections after a court challenge by opposition Nelson Chamisa-led MDC Alliance, attributed the current price runaway and commodity shortages to a hidden hand of economic saboteurs bent on derailing Mnangagwa’s drive of making Zimbabwe a middle-class country by 2030.
“We have observed signs of negative forces bent on derailing our set economic trajectory of Zimbabwe is open for business, which is meant for the attainment of a middle-income economy by 2030,” the ruling Zanu-PF said in a statement read by ANA.
It said the meltdown was being driven by evil forces that were behind street peddling of foreign currency in the informal sector and offloading of goods onto the black market for sale at exorbitant prices.
Zanu-PF said it was disturbed that shortages of basic commodities and price hikes were happening at a time when government had announced measures aimed at restoring economic stability.
“We believe that the emerging economic turbulence characterising our economy is a consequence of reactionary forces, misinformed perception, truancy and economic indiscipline by some entities and individuals in our midst.”
The ruling party proposed a raft of measures to address Zimbabwe’s current economic abyss.
Zanu-PF also directed government to eliminate all forms of informal money market activities and also called upon business to adhere to the principles of good corporate governance.
Vice-President Kembo Mohadi addressed a conference this week and said government was working on the situation.
He said government had instructed ministers to look into the challenges and report back to the executive, adding the government position had not changed on the bond note and the US dollar.
Meanwhile the World Bank and IMF have endorsed Zimbabwe’s road map to clear more than $2 billion in foreign arrears at a meeting in Indonesia on Wednesday, the finance minister said, adding that the lenders had also backed his two-year economic recovery plan.
President Mnangagwa has promised to revive the struggling economy, pay foreign debts that the country has defaulted on since 1999 and restore ties with West after becoming a pariah under Robert Mugabe’s near four-decade rule.
Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube, who is attending the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank meetings in Bali, Indonesia, said in a statement his plans to clear the arrears to the World Bank, African Development Bank and European Investment Bank had been accepted.
“All the cooperating partners and creditors present uniformly expressed their support for Zimbabwe and its arrears clearance Road Map,” Ncube said.
The lenders and Western donors also urged Ncube to “judiciously” implement his two-year economic recovery plan announced last Friday.
Ncube’s plan will see cuts on spending and the government’s wage bill and privatisation of loss-making state-owned firms.
Zimbabwe, which adopted the US dollar after hyperinflation left its own currency worthless in 2009, is gripped by acute shortages of cash dollars. Prices of basic goods and medicines have risen in the last few days.
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