By Bulawayo Correspondent
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has accused businesses of sabotaging government despite publicly professing support for his economic policies.
Officially opening this year’s edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) in Bulawayo Friday, Mnangagwa implored owners of businesses to make decisions that support efforts to improve the country’s economy.
Mnangagwa’s comments come amid growing concerns his decision to maintain the Zimbabwe dollar will defeat all efforts to revive the waning economy.
“Business cannot purport to support government by day and sabotage it by night and thereafter play victim.
“It is imperative for us all to make strategic choices in the best interest of our country,” said Mnangagwa.
“The overall economic competitiveness of our country remains the duty of all of us as government, businesses and consumers alike.
“Collectively, through hard, honest work and ethical business practices, let us advance the goal of achieving the vision 2030.”
His administration has been blasted by economists, businesses, opposition parties and ordinary citizens for its introduction of an inter-bank exchange rate, failure to address inflation and refusal to bring back the much favoured American dollar.
Mnangagwa’s finance minister, Mthuli Ncube, has dismissed chances of the US dollar being re-introduced, despite galloping devaluation of the local currency.
More than 500 direct exhibitors are participating at this year’s ZITF, which will end on Saturday.
After touring some of the stands, Mnangagwa pledged to support innovations and industrial parks, mostly at state universities.
“It is encouraging that the students from innovation hubs and industrial parks at our state universities are showcasing some of their innovations at this year’s trade fair.
“Going forward, my government will continue to strengthen scientific institutional reform, and the science and innovation ecosystem for the modernization and industrialization of Zimbabwe,” he said.
“Similarly, we are broadening talent development to cultivate a science oriented , professionally competent and cutting edge human capital base, which feeds into the needs of our new industry and commerce.”
A total of 14 foreign countries, among them Belarus, Japan, Britain, South Africa and Zambia, are exhibiting at the annual fair.