CITIZENS Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa yesterday warned that the economic situation will get worse because of the failure by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration to manage the local currency.
“Did you know that for every litre of fuel you buy, a total of 47 cents goes to the government in the form of taxes? That is why our fuel is the most expensive in the region. That is going to trigger massive price hikes,” Chamisa told thousands of party supporters at Dulibadzimo Stadium in Beitbridge yesterday.
Last week, the government announced another fuel hike, which saw the price of both petrol and diesel going up by 10% from US$1,51 to US$1,67 for petrol and US$1,68 for diesel. Reports suggest that an alarmed Mnangagwa blocked a mooted third increase.
The government attributed the latest price hikes to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and warned that fuel prices might continue to rise on a weekly basis.
Chamisa said apart from failure to afford basic goods and services, Zimbabweans were over-taxed.
“You will see prices of other commodities going up, that will affect your incomes and lives. CCC is a party which has the capacity to make your lives better. We will reduce the high taxation levels and ensure that fuel prices are comparative to prices charged in the region,” he said.
Chamisa said his government would enhance production and grow the economy so that the national budget will be US$100 billion as opposed to the current US$4
On elections, Chamisa said CCC would soon be taking the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) to task over the release of a biometric voters roll.
“This time we are not going to allow these guys (Zec) to rig us, we are looking at the things they are doing to rig the polls and we are clear that we want the voters roll released in biometric format,” he said.
In past elections, Zec has refused to release the biometric voters roll, citing security reasons. It has only released the voters roll in excel format with biometrics missing.
Audits of the voters roll have revealed gross irregularities which the commission has failed to explain.
On the eve of the rally, heavily armed riot police were deployed in the border town.
Zanu PF Beitbridge youth leaders tried to arrange a meeting at the same venue and time as the CCC rally, but police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi told NewsDay that the ZRP was in control of the situation.
CCC local authority candidates for Beitbridge are Morgan Ncube and Granger Nyoni. They were recalled in 2019 by the MDC-T led by Douglas Mwonzora for belonging to the MDC Alliance.