Time to act on wanton price increases: ED. . . workers must be rewarded, respected

Source: Time to act on wanton price increases: ED. . . workers must be rewarded, respected | Sunday News (local news)

Sunday News Reporter
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa has said it is now time to employ new tools and measures to permanently deal with extortionate pricing of goods by the business sector as moral suasion has been exhausted without success.

The country has seen unjustified price increases of most goods and services by the business sector over the past few months, making most basic goods unaffordable to the majority of the people.

Most workers’ salaries have also been eroded by the price increases.

In his weekly column published in this newspaper, President Mnangagwa said it was Government which was being blamed hence time has come for the Government to take measures to stop the malpractice.

“Indiscipline in the market is now so entrenched and even obstinate that it is increasingly becoming a political challenge to the whole establishment.

New tools are now needed to deal with the problem.

It is Government which gets blamed; it is Government which must tackle this wanton abuse in the marketplace. We are determined to do just that,” he said.

President Mnangagwa said it was disheartening that workers who toil day and night to produce some of the local products, cannot in turn afford to buy the same products when they are now in the shops.

“Like everything else, the Land is transformed through Labour.

Mushandi ngaakudzwe, the worker must be rewarded and respected.

The paradox where workers cannot afford even the most basic goods produced by their own sweat, simply because of corporate profiteering, just has to be resolved once and for all.”

He said companies were creating a situation which was killing local production since locals cannot afford goods produced at home.

“We are killing local demand, thus undermining local production, the development of local value chains, and the launch of local brands starting from local markets.

Brands are strong and trusted globally because they are strong, trusted and afforded locally!”

President Mnangagwa said the nation must rally towards supporting local production but companies must do so efficiently and competitively so that people can be persuaded to buy local.

“This means moving away from reliance on antiquated production technologies so our production systems are technology-driven.

‘Make in Zimbabwe’ means ‘Retool Zimbabwe’ and ‘Digitalise Zimbabwe’.

It also means ‘Re-skill Zimbabwe’.

These must be the new slogans for our industries which must outgrow antiquated, sunset technologies they have been running on,” said the President.

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe

The Government, he said, introduced the RBZ foreign currency auction system so that companies could retool.

“That facility must not merely repair old technologies instead of bringing in new and efficient technologies.

The Ministry of Industry and Commerce must get different sub-sectors to draw up retooling strategies, and to plan for efficient value chains.”

As the country moves forward, President Mnangagwa said the Government will be less and less supportive of operations running on franchised imports.

“These have been wasting our foreign currency reserves while undermining our Buy Zimbabwe goal.

Those involved have had long enough to build capital from those imports; now is the time for them to venture into manufacturing.”

He said the Zimbabwe Investment Development Agency and ZimTrade must scout for investors and investments, as well as markets, which talk to “Our Make in Zimbabwe Strategy.”

Said the President: “As we launch value chains for the local market, we must keep our eyes focused on exports as well.

For far too long, we have waited to be found by foreign investors, instead of going out to pointedly accost foreign investors to key strategic areas we identify and prioritise as an economy.

That must now change so we are deliberate in our quest for Foreign Direct Investment.” — (For the full article by the President turn to page 4)

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