MUTARE – Combative minister of State for Manicaland Province Mandiitawepi Chimene has warned that she will order the closure of Asian businesses that are refusing to accept plastic money and demanding cash.
Speaking on the side-lines of a workshop to discuss Zanu PF’s economic blueprint ZimAsset II and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Chimene had no kind words for the Asian business people, labelling them “money barons”.
“I am making this clear today that if the Indians don’t want to adopt the new cashless system by providing swipe machines they should close shop,” Chimene said.
She took a swipe at the Asian community for snubbing the business forum, organised by Macro Economic and Investment Promotion, which she said was meant to discuss developmental projects initiated by government to stimulate economic growth.
“They own quite a number of businesses but their absence speaks volumes. They own three quarters of businesses in the city but surprisingly, they don’t attend these development forums,” Chimene said.
She added” “I am disappointed. I am going to engage them. They are letting us down”.
Chimene said instead of contributing meaningfully to economic development, the Asians were busy hoarding cash.
“Instead of coming to air their views and contribute meaningfully towards the development of the province, they are busy hoarding money. They are cash barons and they are afraid to mix and mingle with us.
“They think each time we call for meetings we want to expose their shoddy deals,” said Chimene.
She also blasted the Asian community for failing to renovate their buildings in the city, saying most of the infrastructure was in bad shape.
“Most of their buildings are so dilapidated because they were constructed in the then Rhodesia. They don’t care because what they want is money. We cannot have a city run by people who do not want to maintain and develop it,” she said adding that this time around she was going to be tough and will take them head on.
“When you drive down the main street you see dilapidated buildings and their owners are Indians. They have all the money but they don’t want to spend it in Zimbabwe. Where do they want to spend their money?”
“You make the money here and you don’t want to spend it here. Your repatriate it back to your country of origin. They have to play to the gallery or ship out,” said Chimene.