20 November 2018

Zimbabwe: Desperate Zim Govt Convenes Indaba Over Price Hikes, Shortages

In a desperate bid to contain a potentially worsening economic crisis, government yesterday convened an emergency meeting with captains of industry to try and find solutions to the recent prices hikes.

Addressing the media soon after a closed door meeting, Industry and Commerce Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu said government was worried by the recent price increases that has resulted in panic buying and ultimately shortages in the country.

"The main reason for meeting today was to try and interrogate the issue of pricing, we are worried as government that there are numerous price increases from the manufacturer to the consumer.

"What came out from the deliberations is that there are fundamental issues that have to be addressed within the economy. The discussions were frank and open whereby all stakeholders had a chance to make their contributions and we have agreed to convene a similar meeting in the near future.

"We are very worried on the effect of this on the consumer so its a myriad of issues that we need to address collectively and we believe in the near future we will be able to come up with a solution," said Ndhlovu.

Speaking to 263Chat soon after the meeting, business people and economic analysts expressed concern over the failure by the government to address real issues facing the country.

"We are seek and tired from the same song from the government, when it comes to business we don't rely on promises rather we focus on what will be on the ground.

"They all know the elephant in the room but they just want to take us for a ride. Corruption is the most enemy when it comes to business last time the President invited us for a dialogue and we thought by now something should have been done when it comes to foreign currency allocation but it's still the same song.

"We will not go anywhere unless we put politics aside, we thought they were going to deal with corruption when they employed Lumumba to expose the officials but nothing came up," said one businessman.

United Refineries Limited Chief Executive Officer, Busisa Moyo said there will be no means to change the current crisis unless the country address the real issues.

"The Minister was asking on issues of pricing, availability but there are no means to change the context, we need the tools to change the means and the issue of currency became very critical.

"We need foreign currency to bring critical inputs and so the Minister is undertaken to engage the RBZ on our behalf," he said.

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