Zimbabwe: Government Plots Massive Crackdown On Businesses

Harare (file photo).

President Emmerson Mnangagwa's government says it will viciously crackdown on businesses that may take advantage of the turmoil in neighbouring South Africa to "sabotage the economy" by hiking prices of goods.

The recent protests in South Africa, particularly in Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal provinces following the 15-month caging of former president Jacob Zuma, brought business to a standstill and severely disrupted commerce as roads were blocked.

South Africa is the main supplier of goods to Zimbabwe and also acts as a key transit route for overseas imports for the landlocked country. The unrest, which was characterised by looting and burning of buildings, mean supplies are now short, a perfect recipe for price increases.

Fears of shortages due to the affected supply chain have left many business in Zimbabwe with prospects of hiking prices something the government.

Nonetheless, Presidential spokesperson George Charamba said there is still no legitimate reason for any price increases.

Fears of shortages due to the affected supply chain have left many business in Zimbabwe with prospects of hiking prices something the government said is already investigating.

In his trademark abrasive tone, Charamba warned on Twitter that state investigators are already on the ground to identify the and bring to book the culprits.

"Government is investigating credible information suggesting there is an attempt to import into the Zimbabwean Economy effects of disturbances in South Africa in order to justify a fresh round of arbitrary price increases which do not have cost justification here. We are alert," he Tweeted.

Mnangagwa's government has previously shown it does now hesitate to clampdown on businesses it considers errant on several occasions, particularly when it named and shamed perceived externalisers pf foreign currency in 2018 and ordered companies to adhere to its foreign currency stipulations last month.

But on both occasions, it suffered spectacular comebacks.

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