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War veterans threaten businesses against price hikes

by Staff reporter
14 Jan 2019 at 15:23hrs | Views
War veterans have threatened to "deal" with business people who are they alleged were making massive profits through "unjustifiable" increase of prices.

This comes after President Emmerson Mnangagwa more than doubled the price of fuel, with the sharp hike triggering a wave of price increases.

Mnangagwa - flanked by Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube, his deputy Constantino Chiwenga, acting Energy minister Perrance Shiri and the chief secretary to the President and Cabinet Misheck Sibanda - said in his Saturday night State House address that the current steep price were hurting citizens, but said his government was engaging business and does not anticipate that business will hike price further.

He said to avert a price hike of basics, he will award a a general rebate to manufacturers, mines, the agricultural sector and transporters. He did not outline a detailed plan of this rebate, but said details will be availed in due course.

Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) Mashonaland central executive said in a statement that there are some business people who are taking advantage of the situation.

The sabre-rattling by the war veterans comes ahead of Mnangagwa's key second appearance at the prestigious annual gathering of world leaders, economists and captains of industry at the World Economic Forum (Wef), in the resort town of Davos in Switzerland, where he is expected to hype his 'Zimbabwe is Open  for Business' mantra.

Mnangagwa left for Eastern Europe yesterday.

"War veterans have identified the culprits, ranging from extreme economic saboteurs with a massive political appetite for regime change, business people who want to take advantage of the situation and unjustifiably get a quick-buck and get rich overnight at the expense of the poor and the blind followers who do wrong things because someone else is doing the same.

"We are not against price increase but there are some who are just increasing the prices without justifiable reasons. We are not going to hesitate as war veterans we are going to move in to protect the poor masses.

"We undertake to ensure that retail shops justify their prices, failure which, we shall force them to do so for the benefit and protection of both the business community and our masses.

"All shops should display prices of commodities they are selling as is ethically and legally acceptable to avoid exploitation and manipulation of the public," the statement said.

The former liberation war fighters said business people are doing "daylight robbery."

"We call upon price inspectors to do their job by enforcing the laws.

"As the government is busy talking to manufacturers not to unjustifiably increase prices, the retailers on the other hand want to make quick bucks and massive profits by unjustifiably and illegally increasing the prices of basic commodities.

"It doesn't need a professor of economics from Mars to prove that the difference between the purchase price and retail price of basic commodities is tantamount to an extremely cruel and massive ripping off of the innocent members of the public. That's daylight robbery. It is our duty to see to it that it stops forthwith," the statement said.

The country is currently in the throes of a mega economic crisis which has resulted in shortages of basic consumer goods and medicines.

Apart from experiencing these, Mnangagwa's government is also battling to avoid strikes by civil servants who last week rejected a 10 percent salary increase which they were offered.

Last week, distressed companies also pleaded with authorities to allocate them special supplies of fuel to stop the country's burning economy from imploding altogether.

Companies also dropped a bombshell when they revealed that industry was left with an average of about 10 days' worth of supplies of raw materials used in the manufacturing of key products.

Source - dailynews