EEG threatens to expose economic saboteurs

Brighton Muronzoreyi

THE Economic Empowerment Group (EEG) — a local black empowerment lobby group — has threatened to name and shame individuals and companies who are allegedly sabotaging the country’s economy.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday, EEG assistant spokesperson Basil Mapako said they are going to work tirelessly so that they can expose economic saboteurs. “There are some companies and individuals who are fuelling the black market.

They are giving illegal foreign currency dealers money so that they can buy some US dollars. We are not happy with this as EEG. “We feel that these people are sabotaging President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s efforts. We stand by our president and we will not tolerate anyone who wants to fight him,” Mapako said.

“Most of these companies are getting money from the auction system and we are going to name and shame them. “We can’t continue folding our hands while people are sabotaging our President and his government. As EEG we are working with the authorities to make sure that we identify these saboteurs and we will expose them. People’s salaries are being eroded by saboteurs and soon we will expose them.

“We also want government workers to do everything to deal with the scourge. They must work to serve the people. We need government workers to implement policies which are already in place and we want to thank the President for his efforts. For illegal foreign currency dealers we are coming after them.”

On his part, EEG public relations officer Joseph Chakazaza said they were going to engage relevant authorities so that they can deal with illegal money changers through punitive measures. This comes after bankers warned that prices of basic goods would likely keep going up until authorities reined in growing market indiscipline and the abuse of the foreign currency auction system by errant businesses.

They also said it would be difficult to stabilise the Zimbabwe dollar as some people were benefiting from the weakness of the local currency in the absence of adequate deterrent measures by authorities.

Speaking before the parliamentary committee on Budget and Finance on Monday, the chairperson of the treasurers’ forum of the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe (BAZ), Latifa Kassim, said prices of goods would continue to spiral as there was rampant abuse of the forex system.

“The nature of our market is such that there is a lot of rent-seeking and speculative behaviour. We do not really expect to see the parallel market rate coming down to the official rate, hence the arbitrage will continue to be there, resulting in continued price increases,” Kassim said.

BAZ chief executive, Fanwell Mutogo, told the same committee that some companies were abusing their access to foreign currency. “Arbitrage is a national problem because it’s about the behaviours which we are all seeing in this market and people taking advantage of the situation.

 “It is very difficult for us to pin down as to who and where this indiscipline is coming from. I don’t think it happens in other countries’ economies. “All that we can control is what we are doing officially in terms of what is happening at the auction. The rates which come to the auction, it’s the customers who give us these rates and ranges and, therefore, allocation is made on that basis,” Mutogo said.