Zimbabwe ruling party ups the ante under economic implosion

The view of Harare from my room at the Rainbow Towers Hotel. The tall building to right (about 300 m away) is the headquarters of the ruling party, Zanu PF.
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PRESIDENT Mnangagwa yesterday vowed to take the war to the country’s “political detractors, elite opportunists and malcontents” who are pushing a nefarious agenda of regime change.

Mnangagwa yesterday chaired an eight-hour long Politburo meeting that focused mainly on ending the current economic challenges, which the ruling party noted are being stirred by an invisible hand determined to breed chaos in the country.

This comes as the economy has been going through turbulent times notwithstanding the fact that the Government has put in place a raft of measures and interventions to spur economic growth.

Despite being in the middle of a tobacco selling season, the country’s major cash crop, the Politburo raised concern about the continued waning of the local currency against the United States dollar due to a speculative exchange control environment being manipulated by economic saboteurs.

In his opening remarks at the 340th ordinary session of the ZANU-PF Politburo, Mnangagwa noted that the Government and its leadership have of late come under attack from detractors bent on fomenting instability in the country.

“On the economic front, we are witnessing a relentless attack on our currency and the economy in general through exorbitant pricing models. We are fully cognisant that this is a battle being fuelled by our political detractors, elite opportunists and malcontents who are bent on pushing a nefarious agenda.

“They will never win. We did not liberate this country for selfish, profiteers and greedy individuals, but for all people in our land who have a right to enjoy a better quality of life. As a party we must always strive to achieve this,” said Mnangagwa.

Mnangagwa pointed to the alleged abduction of three MDC Alliance members, namely Joanna Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova, as part of the grand plot by the country’s detractors to tarnish Government’s image.

The President, however, said the alleged abductions had been exposed for their inconsistencies by Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe in his recent statement.

“Concurrently during this period was the resurgence of hate speech and language which are not characteristic of the values we seek to be embedded in our country under the Second Republic. This vile culture must be rejected by all peace-loving people,” he said.

Mnangagwa said the confrontational actions were well coordinated and planned.

“I am aware that the intention was to cause despondency, unrest, violence and to render the country ungovernable. These acts should never be tolerated. I urge the Party and nation as a whole, to remain alert. Let us refuse to be divided by vigilantes who are hired by hostile foreign governments to distract us from our quest to grow our economy and improve the quality of lives for all, in peace, unity and love,” President Mnangagwa said.

After the Politburo meeting that also saw the Minister of Finance and Economic Development Mthuli Ncube and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor John Mangudya making presentations on the state of the economy, the ruling party acting national spokesperson Patrick Chinamasa said corrective measures were going to be taken to protect the general populace.

“Whilst there was consensus on the global economic recession and slowdown caused by the Covid-19 contagion, the general lockdown restrictions on certain sectors of the economy and the continued illegal economic sanctions, there was however a robust acknowledgment that there is an invisible hand at play fomenting regime change and as a revolutionary party we will jealously guard against such elements. Economic fundamentals are strong but perceptions are more negative. The party is aware of these detractors who are manipulating basic price commodities through unjustified cost-build-ups and continuously speculating on the exchange rate to fuel the black market economy for profiteering purposes. This is also compounded by the unhelpful speculation and negative narrative and perceptions being peddled by our detractors,” said Chinamasa.

Chinamasa said the ruling party was determined to provide goods and services, such as basic commodities and transport, at affordable prices to cushion the people against the impact of the well-orchestrated plot to sully the image of the Second Republic.

“The re-launch of the Zimbabwe United Passengers Company (ZUPCO) and the provision of subsidised basic commodities like roller meal, Presidential Inputs Scheme and capitalisation of Small Micro Medium Enterprises (SMMEs) financial institutions are a platform to cushion our most vulnerable members of our communities and the party will continue on this development trajectory,” he said.

Apart from discussing the economy and measures to put an end to illicit practices on mobile money platforms such as EcoCash, the Politburo also focussed on production and noted that maize production for the 2018/19 will increase by 17 percent while traditional grains will rise by 103 percent as compared to the previous season.

Source – the herald