EMBATTLED President Emmerson Mnangagwa has turned to Political Actors Dialogue (Polad) members to help him arrest the economic turmoil characterised by sky-rocketing prices of goods and services.
Speaking after meeting the Polad principals on Thursday at State House, Mnangagwa acknowledged that the country was in an economic mess, but pointed fingers at “economic saboteurs”.
Polad was set up by Mnangagwa after the disputed 2018 elections and is made up of losing presidential candidates from obscure opposition political parties.
“Help me to find economic saboteurs and deal with them,” Mnangagwa pleaded.
“We have established that some members of the business community were involved in fuelling the parallel market, thereby destabilising our local currency.
“Our economy has been under attack from unscrupulous and nefarious individuals and syndicates bent on sabotaging our way of life.”
Some basic commodities such as cooking oil have disappeared from supermarkets while others have been priced beyond reach, of many as the local currency keeps falling in value.
On Thursday, the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe said a consumer basket for a family of five had shot to $120 000, up from $98 000 from April as inflation continues on an upward trend.
In a bid to arrest the economic decline, Mnangagwa announced a basket of measures such as banning banks from lending, but later reversed the decree following an outcry.
Early this week, government lifted import tariffs to allow Zimbabweans to buy groceries across the borders.
“The onslaught has created hardships for our citizens due to the inflationary pressures caused by speculation on our local currency. I believe that these activities have been caused by a third hand whose objective is to interfere and derail our national development trajectory,” Mnangagwa told the Polad members.
Inside sources revealed that Polad members continued to enjoy taxpayers’ money in never-ending workshops disguised as strategic meetings.
Political analysts said there was no need to continue pampering Polad members.
Political analyst Pardon Taodzera said: “Nothing tangible has come out from Polad members in the past four years. They have to push for electoral reforms.
“They have failed to convince the United States and its allies to remove the sanctions. They have failed to contribute meaningfully to the economy yet they continue to abuse state resources.”
There was uproar last year when Mnangagwa gave Polad members Isuzu D-Max double-cab vehicles, which cost around US$60 000 each.