By Farayi Machamire
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has spoken for the first time on opposition leader Nelson Chamisa’s push for a transitional government, saying any form of a power-sharing arrangement was not on his agenda.
Addressing a Zanu PF central committee meeting, Mnangagwa said he is rather focused on building the country’s economy and developing the nation.
He told party faithful that as of Wednesday his government had begun flooding the market with three times the amount of fuel needed to avert fuel shortages.
In a wide-ranging speech that straddled the current economic woes, skyrocketing parallel market rates, fuel shortages and discord within his administration, Mnangagwa said his government was focused on acting decisively to end the country’s economic bleeding.
“May I warn you not to take heed of utterances from various opposition quarters: Let us focus our energies towards growing the economy, towards unity of our people,” he thundered.
“Let those who engage in dreams continue to dream and we must continue to be factual and move forward for the development of our country. We have no agenda. Nothing is on agenda for the (Constitution of the) government of national unity. We don’t have that on our agenda!” Mnangagwa said.
Turning to the sickly economy, he was defiant that the United States dollar and the bond note remain at par; 1:1.
“Let me assure you that as from yesterday we have begun flooding the market. We have brought in three times the fuel as is necessary and our bond will remain 1:1 with the dollar. Those who want to use their money can change their money at whatever level but formally and officially it remains 1:1,” Mnangagwa said.
Turning to the discord in the upper echelons of the ruling party, he subtly waded into the furore over Finance minister Mthuli Ncube’s controversial engagement of Willian Gerald Mutumanje, also known as Acie Lumumba, as chair of his ministry’s finance task force.
Lumumba’s revelations on alleged illegal foreign currency dealings this week shook the country to its core.
He was, however, relieved of his appointment after only three days although he has promised to spill more beans on allegedly corrupt officials whom he claims are on the payroll of a powerful tycoon said to be working hard to capture Mnangagwa in the manner the Gupta brothers in South Africa allegedly captured the State and former president Jacob Zuma.
“I call on party members to desist from indulging in showcasing utterances which prop up personal glory. We should have one mouthpiece of the party and one mouthpiece of government,” he said to applause from Zanu PF functionaries.
“You find comrades pronouncing themselves on policy which even the president is not aware of. It’s not acceptable. Let us stick to our mandates. If you keep to your mandate you will hold on to your party seat for a very long time,” he said.
Zanu PF bigwigs including national youth league secretary Lewis Matutu have attacked Ncube for what they termed an attempt to undermine government projects after Lumumba took aim at the Command Agriculture financier who he said was central to the perceived shenanigans that led to the suspension of four senior officials at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.
Mnangagwa also used the meeting to emphasise government’s determination in dealing with illegal foreign currency trading which he said had brought untold suffering to the people.
The 76-year-old leader said his administration would provide a solution to the skyrocketing prices of basic commodities saying the lifting of import restrictions was one of the moves to lessen the burden on ordinary Zimbabweans.
“Political positions should never be a licence to loot…In the Second Republic, there will not be leniency for the corrupt – those who cause suffering to our people.
I call on the party to be bold as we undertake economic and political reforms…the party must resist temptations to indulge in defective thinking and unhealthy practices. We have the obligation to uplift the well-being of our people, moving forward into a prosperous future,” he said.
“…The party has no room for fence seaters. There will be no leniency for corrupt elements as we focus on economics and business,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mnangagwa said the party and its central committee should think and stimulate debate to proffer solutions for economic revival.
He officially announced the appointment of former Cabinet ministers Simon Khaya Moyo; Patrick Chinamasa; Obert Mpofu; Chris Mushowe; Edna Madzongwe; Paul Mangwana; Simbarashe Mumbengegwi; Mike Bimha; David Parirenyatwa and Josiah Hungwe as full-time employees at the Zanu PF headquarters together with other Zanu PF bigwigs that include Douglas Mahiya, Lewis Matutu and Cleveria Chizema – as was first reported by the Daily News.
“I have decided that our senior colleagues in the party be fully employed here and be paid,” Mnangagwa said. Daily News