13 June 2018

Zimbabwe: Chiwenga 'Forced' to Warn Cash Dealers, Land Barons

Photo: The Herald
Vice President Constantino Chiwenga (file photo).

Vice President Retired General Constantino Chiwenga, was yesterday forced to address the incessant cash shortages and the issue of land barons at a Zanu-PF rally in Hopley.

While in the middle of blasting the failures of the MDC-T led council, the crowd interjected and called on the VP to address the "real issues" which included cash shortages and the escalating numbers of land barons.

The restless crowd was could be heard shouting "address ecocash percentages" "we want cash" to Chiwenga who then revealed that the government has already put in place financial reforms earmarked to end the cash crisis.

"We warn all mobile money stakeholders, all telecommunications who are involved in selling cash at higher percentages, be it Econet, Netone, Telecel all of them that they must stop it.

"Commuter omnibus operators and buses will be asked to introduce plastic money services so that it becomes easier for people who cannot access cash," said Chiwenga.

"Tirikuzviziva kuti mari dzanga dzichifambiswa nema ecocash, tinoyambira, vose vanga vachimhanyisa mari pama ecocash takatarisa, vose vari kumhanyisa, inonzi chii, vane ma telephone, vangava ve econet, vetelecel , teleone, netone, kunofanirwa kunge kuine mari inofanirwa kufamba, ipapo, kwete mari kwete mari yekufambisa kuti taisa mari mumabank mari yongofuma yanyunguduka, apo ka apo, ndipo patichanetseka," he said.

Zimbabwe is currently going through cash challenges with Finance minister, Patrick Chinamasa revealing that the business activities involving the use of plastic money have gone up to over 90 per cent.

When President Emmerson Mnangagwa came into power in November, he promised to deal with the cash crisis in his first 100 days in office.

"The liquidity challenges, which have bedevilled the economy, must be tackled head-on with real solutions being generated as a matter of urgency. People must be able to access their earnings as and when they need them," said Mnangagwa in his inauguration speech.

It is this pledge that has attracted backlash on Mnangagwa's government after 7 months after getting into power with the cash crisis, prices of goods having worsened.

Presenting at a recent election debate, Jealousy Mawarire, the National Patriotic Front (NPF) spokesperson alleged that Mnangagwa was involved in the cash shortages as he accused the president's son of owning Makanaka Investments and Spartan Investments which he said were used to siphon cash from the central bank ultimately finding its easy way into the streets.

Turning to land barons, Chiwenga warned former Zanu PF parliamentarian, Shadreck Mashayamombe that he must be reminded that court case records can be activated any time warning that the police might descend on him any day.

He said the government has set up a land audit committee tasked to produce a comprehensive report that will lead the new administration to those who have crossed the line.

"There shall be arrests on those involved in corruption of dishing land illegally.

"For corruption to end, courts and our judiciary have set up anti-graft authority right under the office of the president," said Chiwenga.

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