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Mugabe slams Zanu-PF bigwigs blamed for shortages

by Staff reporter
26 Sep 2017 at 06:27hrs | Views
President Mugabe has said the Government will look into the artificial shortage of some basic goods and the arbitrary price hikes by some shops and dealers, with a view to taking corrective measures.

Addressing hordes of Zanu-PF supporters at the Harare International Airport on his return from the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, President Mugabe said he was aware of some saboteurs who wanted to incite people to revolt against the Government ahead of next year's harmonised elections by way of creating an artificial shortage of basic goods.

Some of the people behind the shortages, President Mugabe said, might be from the ruling party Zanu-PF.

He said he heard that there were shortages and was aware that there were individuals who wanted things to go wrong so that people revolt against the Government while he was away.

The President said what was comforting was that Zimbabweans were intelligent and as such could not be deceived that way.

He said that now that he is around, the Government will address the problem and said the probem should be over in one or two days. He said people should be patient and should be wary of the country's detractors in their midst.

President Mugabe said some of the saboteurs were close firends that the people were wining and dining with and what was important was to remain united.

He said the people should remain united until the elections as the Government works towards addressing the artificial shortages.

Panic buying began on Saturday morning following some claims on social media of alleged impending shortages of basic commodities.

Some of the messages projected a gloomy economic situation in the country with some tabloids claiming that the economic problems of 2008 had returned.

On Sunday, some general dealers in Glen View and parts of Chitungwiza were reportedly selling 2-litre bottles of cooking oil for between $5 and $8,50 from $3,39.

Hardware shops selling building materials in Mbare lost business yesterday due to price distortions.

Some customers rejected the ridiculous prices and terms of trade.

Long queues were observed at major fuel traders like Total and Puma where they were accepting all forms of payment.

Smaller dealers were demanding cash payments only.

Over the weekend, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe said it had increased foreign currency allocation for basic and essential commodities to curtail threats of shortages.

RBZ Governor Dr John Mangudya said the central bank would allocate an additional US$30 million a week for basic and essential commodities imports, with an additional US$15 million being spent on fuel and electricity imports.

He said the injection of additional foreign currency followed marginal increases in prices of goods and commodities in most shops in Harare fuelled by speculative social media reports of impending shortages.

The development triggered panic buying and illegal monetary transactions.

Dr Mangudya dismissed suggestions that most basic commodities were beginning to disappear from shop shelves.

The RBZ has also introduced a US$600 million Nostro Stabilisation Facility from Cairo-headquartered African Export Import Bank (Afreximbank) to start addressing the foreign currency deficit on the market.

The nostro stabilisation facility is meant to deal with ongoing delays in the processing of foreign payments by banks for the procurement of productive imports as part of a raft of measures to stabilise the economy.

The facility will cover the foreign currency gap that widened after the closure of the 2017 tobacco marketing season.

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Source - chronicle

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