Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga yesterday pleaded with the business community to practise “ethical business ethos” and desist from unjustified price hikes.
Officially opening the international business conference, which is running concurrently with the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF), yesterday Chiwenga blasted businesses saying they were engaging in bad business practices.
“The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has moved to curtail resurgent price increases in the economy and stabilise the volatile parallel market exchange rate through increasing interest rates. These measures demonstrate government’s desire to stem further price increases whose primary driver is speculative borrowing leading to the depreciation of the local currency and fuelling price hikes,” Chiwenga said.
“Similarly, I want to implore the business community to complement government efforts by practising ethical business ethos and desist from unjustified price increases. Let us act in the proper manner and do business in the correct manner,” he said.
Last week, President Emmerson Mnangagwa blamed businesses for the price hikes, accusing them of sabotaging the economy.
Prices of basic goods and commodities have spiralled this month, with bread now costing $480 per loaf and a 10kg bag of mealie-meal going for $1 300.
The country’s inflation on Tuesday also spiked upwards to 96,4% up from 72% in March, raising fears of a possible return to hyperinflation.
Turning to the issue of roads, Chiwenga said government was pleased with the progress made on the Beitbridge-Harare-Chirundu Highway, adding that they were confident that it would be completed by December 2022.
“On the aviation sector, progress has been made on the refurbishment of the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport, which is expected to increase the airport’s holding capacity to six million people per annum.
“Government is also dedicated to ensure continued availability of electricity for industry so that the country is self-sufficient and narrow the demand-supply gap, minimise power imports and conserve foreign currency,” he said.
Chiwenga said Zimbabwe and Mozambique were pushing for the implementation of agreed projects, including the setting up of one-stop border posts at Forbes-Machipanda and Nyamapanda-Cuchamano.