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Gloomy festive season for Zimbabweans

by Staff reporter
19 Nov 2019 at 20:38hrs | Views
The National Consumer Rights Association (Nacora) and the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) have predicted a gloomy festive season for ordinary citizens. They have also blamed the government for failing to bring the country out of economic doldrums and the recent cash injections for fuelling inflation.

Speaking to Southern Eye yesterday, Nacora spokesperson Effie Ncube said the recent cash injection by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) would not improve lives.

"The recent cash injection will not change anything for the consumer on the ground, if at all it will worsen inflationary pressures on the provision of goods and services so much that we are going to see the skyrocketing of the cost of most important goods and services, to even a new and higher unaffordable level," Ncube said.

"In any country, when you print money, you drive up inflation; in any country, when you print money, you drive up cost of goods and services because you weaken the strength of your currency versus the number and quality of goods and services it can buy. So it is not going to be any different. We expect, as an organisation, that by the festive season these prices might have even doubled, trebled or quadrupled, sometimes depending on the situation."

Ncube said Nacora was disappointed by government's failure to resolve the economic situation.

"We are outraged at the failure by government to properly run the economy, eliminate cartels and oligarchs that are running the economy in the country — the politics in the country, to eliminate corruption that is so pervasive and imbedded in the lives of the people," he said.

"It is disappointing that people who came into government promising to be different from (the late former President Robert) Mugabe have worsened the situation. So as an organisation, we are deeply saddened and angry at that. We will continue to challenge anything that spells doom for consumers. We are going to defend the rights of consumers everywhere, we are going to take matters to court, we are going to talk to government, educate and train consumers."

He added that the disparity between the cash and electronic purchases was very disturbing and indicated citizens had no confidence in the local currency.

ZCTU western region chairperson Ambrose Sibindi said the recent cash injection had just promoted some corrupt people in the banking sector to get richer and has not benefited citizens and workers in any way.

"Bank queues are still the order of the day and people still get between $50 and $300 per day and week, respectively. Prices are still going up willy-nilly and that discrepancy still exists. If one pays via EcoCash or swipe, prices of the same commodities are higher than paying using cash," Sibindi said.

"As we are close to the festive season and I foresee a serious shortage of cash from banks. I think as workers we need to go with our families and besiege banks day and night until this cash crisis has been resolved."

The RBZ recently injected into the market new $2 coins as well as $2 and $5 notes in a drip-fed operation meant to supply $1,9 billion into the system over a six-month period.

Source - newsday