VP Mnangagwa touched on various topics ranging from politics to socio-economic programmes Government was implementing and its drive in fighting corruption in line with President Mugabe’s 10-Point Plan for Economic Growth that he enunciated during his State of the Nation Address last year.
VP Mnangagwa said Government was introducing bond notes to avoid continued pilferage and abuse of the US dollar.
“The US dollar is a reserve currency. It is a precious currency to most countries in the world. It’s for international transactions. Haisi yekutengesa matohwe, yekutengesa mavisi, yekutengesa madora kana yekutengesa mazhanje. That is only found in Zimbabwe. It’s a unique country, which is abusing the US dollar. We said we must use the US dollar for the purpose we designed it.
“We needed to find a mode of transaction that is domestic because if you put $200 million into Zimbabwe today, after a few days, it’s all taken out. It is not even going through the banking system. Some even smuggle it through tyres.”
VP Mnangagwa said Government then discussed with Afrexim Bank for a $200 million financial cover for the bond notes. He said in the quest to curb capital flight, Government introduced bond notes to ensure these were only used in Zimbabwe.“But we peg it to the US dollar so that we don’t have one account for the bond notes and another account for US dollars. It is the same account. “We first tested the waters with bond coins. Initially, they were resisted but now they are on demand.
“Down the line, it’s possible that we might even say certain transactions or certain payments in the system shall be done with bond notes so that if some people come from outside and sell on the Zimbabwean market, they are now forced to go to the bank because they cannot carry the bond notes outside.
“They have to put the money into the bank and transfer normally so we will now know how much is going out and how much is being kept in. We will be able to know the circulation of money. We will know of the volumes of the circulation of money. This is a mode of transaction to facilitate liquidity within the country and have a limitation on the exportation of the currency,” said VP Mnangagwa.
He said Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016 that was introduced by Industry and Commerce Minister Mike Bimha to regulate imports had started bearing fruits with the import basket drastically reducing from $6 billion to around $4 billion.
The VP said some local companies’ capacity utilisation had increased to between 80 and 100 percent as a result of SI 64 of 2016. VP Mnangagwa said command agriculture was also expected to help in economic recovery.
On corruption, he said Government would not relent in fighting the scourge as set out by President Mugabe. “The burden of fighting corruption rests with every single ministry and minister, every single parastatal and entity and every single company engaged in the economy.
“This is what we are preaching today. As we say, there is nobody above the law, everyone except the President who in terms of the Constitution, is immune to prosecution. All of us, we are all potential prisoners here.
“All of us, we have to subject ourselves to our law. I can assure you, this is going to be enforced rigorously,” he said. The VP added that the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission had since been removed from the Ministry of Home Affairs to fall under the Office of the President and Cabinet to give it strength and respectability.
VP Mnangagwa said several infrastructural projects were under way while others were to be concluded soon. He said the Ministry of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services was also working flat out erecting transmitters to enable every corner of the country to have access to television and radio signals.
“We are so optimistic about where we want to go. We are so optimistic that we shall achieve the goals we have set for ourselves to achieve. “Most importantly, wherever we are, we preach unity, peace and love. That is what we preach about every time, even God is happy when we demonstrate love and not hate,” said the Vice President.
On politics, VP Mnangagwa said Zanu-PF continued to be peaceful and stable winning more than 30 parliamentary constituencies and losing only one. He said Zanu-PF would be hosting the 16 Annual National People’s Conference in Masvingo in the second week of December where the revolutionary party was expected to focus on reviewing its resolutions from the last conference in Victoria Falls last year.
VP Mnangagwa said Zanu-PF amended a clause in its Constitution that provided that one of the VPs must be a woman after realising that it was in conflict with the Unity Accord that was signed between Zanu and PF Zapu in 1987. He said, however, the Women’s League wanted the clause to be put back but will only be entertained at the next Zanu-PF Congress in 2019. – Herald