Govt seized with price hikes and ‘unacceptable’ exchange rate – President

By Justin Mahlahla

The government is currently seized with the ever-rising costs of basic goods and services and the spiraling exchange rate, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said.

He said this while officially opening the 62nd edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair in Bulawayo Friday afternoon.

“My government is currently focusing on the challenges of the spike of prices and the unacceptable exchange rate. Business must cooperate. I like to welcome foreign companies and countries who have re-engaged with Zimbabwe, who had dis-engaged. We welcome you back,” said President Mnangagwa.

The President exhorted the business community to cooperate with the government in its efforts to create an inclusive economy where people enjoy the benefits of sound economic fundamentals.

“I call upon our economic sectors to exercise great discipline in all their dealings… through hard, earnest and ethical practices. Let us advance the goal we set for ourselves, that of an upper middle-income society by 2030.”

He chastised business for purporting to support government by day while sabotaging its policies by night and thereafter play the victim.

Said the President, “Zimbabwe’s economy has moved from stabilization to growth, hence must go beyond merely staying afloat. Industry is challenged to adopt new structures and craft new innovative strategies. We must manage risks, reduce costs and improve competitiveness. Innovation is development and is the future. If you do not innovate you will be left behind and we do not wish to be left behind. New business models, practices and process should also result in increased productivity and growth.”

In relation to the 2022 ZITF theme, “Rethink, Reimagine, Re-invent Value Chains for Economic Development”, President Mnangagwa said government, business and communities must all build back better, because present realities have meant that industry re-looks at the impact of supply chain disruptions caused by global disasters such as COVID-19.

The President called for the observance of a minute of silence in respect of former Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki who died on 21 April 2022. Current President Uhuru Kenyatta was scheduled to officiate at the 2022 ZITF, but could no longer attend the fair due to the death of his predecessor.