The Sunday News
Kuda Bwititi in Mt Darwin
Government is working on safety nets to shield vulnerable members of society against price distortions on basic commodities and will soon unveil a well-packaged strategy to ensure goods reflect their real value, Vice President Kembo Mohadi has said.
VP Mohadi was speaking at Zanu-PF’s second post-election Thank-You Rally at Mt Darwin High School, Mashonaland Central province, yesterday attended by thousands of supporters. He said it was worrying that Zimbabwe had over 35 000 civic organisations, most of which were engaging in underhand political activities designed to effect regime change.
He stood in for President Emmerson Mnangagwa. VP Mohadi said authorities were crafting a cocktail of measures to ensure availability of basic goods at fair prices, including extensive support for retailers.
“Basic commodities like cooking oil, sugar, salt, rice, mealie-meal, milk and flour; the prices are being looked into so that they become affordable to the generality of the public. Government is equally putting in place loan facilities for retailers who will maintain cheap prices.
These will be supported by Government to make sure that their prices remain low.”
Government would also work with industry in implementing the basic commodities price stabilisation initiative.
“As Government, we are engaged with industry for a more stable price regime. We are seized with this matter. We are a Government that is responsive to the people’s needs. We are concerned with overcharging of goods and the constant hikes of prices of basic commodities. We understand the struggles that you are facing and we will step in with corrective measures.”
VP Mohadi said the basic commodities programme was aimed at providing relief to the public in the same manner as the recent introduction of buses for urban commuters. He told the gathering that more buses were being mobilised to provide cheap transport in rural areas.
“There are 500 buses that will be coming from Belarus and another 200 buses from South Africa. The resuscitation of Zupco was long overdue,” he said. VP Mohadi said NGOs would not win in their attempts to destabilise the country, despite their huge number.
“There are 35 000 NGOs in Zimbabwe. It is such a high number for a very small country such as Zimbabwe. They are more than our own national army. We do not know what they are looking for. They claim to be non-Governmental, but in reality they represent foreign governments that have intentions to take over the country.
“We will not fold our hands and let that happen. We are aware that some of our economic challenges are a result of the machinations of these NGOs. Let’s remain strong and united and not allow our country to be destabilised. Zimbabwe is our country and we ought to defend it against the works of our enemies.”
Vice President Mohadi, who is also Zanu-PF Second Secretary, said the country’s strategic grain reserve had enough stocks to provide food security for seven months. He said harvest from the 2018-2019 agricultural season would boost the stocks.
“I am aware that here in Mashonaland Central there are some areas that are drought-prone. I can assure you that no one will die of hunger anywhere in the country. Minister Perrance Shiri is in charge of agriculture and every Tuesday he briefs Cabinet on the food security situation while the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare is in charge of the distribution of grain. We have enough grain to last the next seven months.” Government planned to build more hospitals countrywide and increase the number of cancer screening centres, he said.
Government would also build more schools with requisite learning material and infrastructure. The Vice President thanked the people in Mashonaland Central province for resoundingly voting Zanu-PF in last year’s elections.
“You demonstrated loyalty and commitment to Zanu-PF. You demonstrated unparalleled patriotism as you supported President Mnangagwa. We will remain grateful,” said VP Mohadi.
He paid tribute to the late national hero and music icon Dr Oliver Mtukudzi who hailed from the province.
In her address, Zanu-PF national chairperson Cde Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri said Mashonaland Central was a resolute pillar of Zanu PF with a strong bond to the liberation struggle.
“Mashonaland Central is crucial to us. It gave us Mbuya Nehanda and many sons and daughters who died in the war for independence. We were happy that Mashonaland Central rejected to be part of the recent disturbances. We want you to continue on that path so that you defend your flag and your resounding vote.”
Minister Shiri, who is also the most senior Zanu-PF politburo member from Mashonaland Central, said the party’s huge support in the province will not wane. Zanu-PF Mashonaland Central chairperson Cde Kazembe Kazembe said the province was fully behind President Mnangagwa as it had retained all 18 parliamentary seats in last year’s polls. The rally was also attended by Zanu-PF national commissar Dr Engelbert Rugeje, politburo and central committee members, legislators and traditional chiefs among other guests.