ED thumbs nose at protest threats: No retreat or surrender on reforms

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By Matabeleland North Correspondent

BARRING threats of social upheaval, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has declared he is ready to stick it out and push with his reform agenda.

Mnangagwa on Thursday told captains of industry meeting under the banner of the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC), in Victoria Falls that his government will not go back on its monetary and fiscal decisions.

“We shall continue to deepen the ongoing reform initiatives and not shy away from doing that which is good for our country and the generality of our people.

“To this end, the ongoing monetary reforms, fiscal consolidation, macro stabilisation, stimulation of growth and the quest to create employment for our people, will proceed with increased impetus,” said Mnangagwa.

Opposition parties and labour federation, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) as well as pressure group #Tajamuka/Sesijikile have threatened mass action following the shock move to designate the Zimbabwean dollar as sole legal tender for domestic transactions.

The move abolished a decade long policy in which Zimbabwe used a basket of currencies dominated by the US dollar.

Following a meeting of social partners at the Tripartite Negotiating Forum (TNF) early this week that included government, labour and business, a resolution was passed to the effect that Mnangagwa must either reverse his decision or review it.

But the Zanu PF leader seems undeterred and appealed to the chamber to assist government by convincing people to accept the reform policies.

“Let me hasten to state that reforms we are instituting entail all of us as leaders across all sectors to be solid, candid and principled. I thus call upon the business community to complement government in the fulfillment of the reform objectives.

“In our respective spheres, we must take it upon ourselves to explain the new developments especially with regards to the recently gazetted SI 142 of 2019, to our people. Let’s reassure them that we are on the correct path and the measures we are instituting will bear fruits,” Mnangagwa said.

The decision to abandon the US dollar in particular seems to have stalled the run-away parallel market whose effect had threatened to plunge the country into chaos only a week ago with prices of basic commodities skyrocketing beyond the reach of ordinary people.