Economic saboteurs will not be tolerated: Mnangagwa

HARARE – President Emmerson Mnangagwa says last week’s manipulation of the exchange rate amounts to economic sabotage and must not be tolerated. President Mnangagwa said this during the State of the Nation Address and the Opening of the Second Session of the Ninth Parliament in Harare today.

The President urged Zimbabweans to adhere to the rule of law and foster discipline at all levels noting that appropriate measures are being taken to address the cash situation which includes a gradual removal of arbitrage opportunities created through multi-tier pricing.

“Government is fully aware of the challenges faced by the public in accessing cash, which has resulted in some unscrupulous traders selling cash in exchange for electronic money,” said President Mnangagwa.

He articulated that Vision 2030, which has the Transitional Stabilisation Programme as a key building block, is being systematically pursued.

He highlighted that the ongoing fiscal consolidation measures are already paying off as a budget surplus was recorded during the first half of the year.

“The surplus has enabled government to rehabilitate damaged infrastructure and supporting livelihoods for communities affected by Cyclone Idai, social service delivery, cost of living adjustment for civil servants and the provision of safety nets, ”he said.

Turning to the 2019/2020 farming season, the President said the government has set aside ZWL$1.8 billion towards the production of strategic crops such as maize, soyabeans and cotton.

He was quick to point out that the Command Agriculture Programme will only support those with a proven track record of delivering to the Grain Marketing Board and repaying their loans.

As a climate change mitigatory measure, communal farmers are being encouraged to grow traditional grains.

President Mnangagwa said the mining sector continues to be a key source of export earnings noting that the sector generated US$1.3 billion during the first half of the year.

He said the government will soon unveil a comprehensive strategy and roadmap towards the attainment of a US$12 billion mining industry in Zimbabwe by 2023.

In the tourism sector, the President noted that the sector remains on an upward growth generating about US$1.3 billion in receipts.

At the beginning of the State of the Nation Address, President Mnangagwa and the august house observed a minute of silence for the late founding father and former President, Cde Robert Mugabe who passed on last month.