Government remains committed to continuous engagement to find lasting solutions to the country’s economic challenges, Vice President Chiwenga has said.
Officially opening the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) Business Conference here yesterday, Vice President Chiwenga said there was no justification for the recent and continuing spate of increases in the prices of basic commodities.
He said the recent and continuing spate of increases in the prices of basic commodities cannot be explained objectively,
“The rising inflation which we are now experiencing hurts the whole economy and its development prospects, negatively affecting all of us.
“Is it not time we engage and honestly discuss why as a nation we continue to experience foreign currency shortages yet our foreign currency earnings exceed those of comparator countries who are not experiencing the same phenomenon”, he said.
Dr Chiwenga added that despite the establishment of an inter-bank Foreign Currency market in February the parallel market continues to overshadow the formal market because there are buyers and sellers who are willing to participate in these unscrupulous activities.
“The absence of a formal market for foreign exchange was causing distortions and the misallocation of resources in the economy. The market-based framework for the determination of the exchange rate is expected to facilitate financial sector stability, contain inflationary pressures and build public confidence.
“These noble objectives will, however, not be attained if, as individuals and corporates, we continue to sustain the parallel market by engaging in underground activities.”
Dr Chiwenga’s remarks come at a time when the price of bread recently shot by 75 percent with the lowest loaf of bread pegged at RTGS $3,35.
Speaking at the same occasion, Dr Chiwenga, said the ZITF came at a time the nation was recovering from the devastating effects of Cyclone Idai which affected Manicaland, Masvingo, Mashonaland East and Midlands Provinces with Chipinge and Chimanimani in Manicalnd being the most affected.
He said that Cyclone Idai added to the woes brought by the effects of drought experienced during the 2018-2019 Summer Cropping Season.
“Cyclone Idai added to the woes resulting from the drought which the country has experienced during the 2018-19 Summer Cropping Season.
“Its massive destruction crops and livestock came against the background of poor crop yields and deteriorating conditions of livestock due to drought thereby worsening an already grave situation and dampening the economy’s growth prospects in 2019.”
Dr Chiwenga took the opportunity on behalf of President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the Government of Zimbabwe, to commend the spirit of unity and ubuntu/hunhu exhibited by various stakeholders in response to the disaster and encouraged people to continue to nurture a spirit of togetherness in the country in order to spur development.