By African News Agency
HARARE: As Zimbabwe’s economic crisis deepens – with critical drugs, fuel and wheat in short supply – the opposition MDC Alliance president Nelson Chamisa has called for a crisis meeting with President Emmerson Mnangagwa to try and bring the situation under control.
A new two percent tax on all electronic transactions announced by the Finance Minister on October 1 started a domino ramping-up of prices for goods and services across the entire economy
A directive by the Reserve Bank to banks to separate foreign currency accounts from the local real-time gross settlement accounts has dramatically devalued the bond note, a surrogate currency in use in the country.
Rights groups are preparing to go to court to contest both policy pronouncements.
“I am ready to lead Zimbabwe out of crisis”, Chamisa said, “but President Emmerson Mnangagwa must come to the negotiating table and resolve all hanging political issues.”
Churches under the banner of the Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) are also leading efforts to bring Mnangagwa and Chamisa to the negotiating table to break the post-election conundrum characterised by a worsening cash crisis and escalating shortages of most basic products.
Mnangagwa and Chamisa were the main contenders in the July 30 presidential poll, seen as key to pulling the southern African nation out of international isolation and launching economic recovery.
Chamisa said the economic crisis was the symptom of a crisis of legitimacy, adding it would only end when all Zimbabweans were speaking to the international community with one voice.
“This requires Mnangagwa to come to the negotiating table,” Chamisa said.
ZCC vice-president Bishop Solomon Zwana said: “Let us try to find ways to move our nation forward. Yes, there is a period of problems and there must be another period of strategising and yet another phase of moving forward and not continue to mourn without trying to look for practical ways of moving forward.”
The ZCC officials met with Chamisa at the Anglican Cathedral in Harare on Wednesday evening.
ZCC secretary-general Kenneth Mtata declined to say what the churches discussed with the MDC Alliance leader, but said they were waiting for Chamisa to sign a “document” before going on to the next stage, adding that their focus was to bring the parties to the negotiating table urgently.
Mtata said Zanu-PF party officials were aware of their meeting with Chamisa.