By Tendayi Madhomu
President Emmerson Mnangagwa, yesterday said the multi-currency system is here to stay, and encouraged Zimbabweans to be patient and endure the pain while his government makes efforts to revive the economy.
Mnangagwa made these remarks at the State House yesterday, where he hosted bankers, captains of industry and commerce among other guests in a breakfast meeting.
The president said the RTGS balances and bond notes remain safe as monetary instruments.
“I fully know what is going on in the country. We as government should listen to you. The financial sector is highly sensitive and thrives on highest levels of trust.
“Government is working day and night to stabilise the economy. The multi-currency system is here to stay. RTGS balances and bond notes are safe as monetary instruments. There is no need for pressure to exchange them,” he said.
Mnangagwa said it is no secret that the Zimbabwean economy is facing challenges that include a high budget deficit and a huge debt.
“What is required are urgent, bold actions and tough decisions.
“We cannot run away from addressing the challenges, the longer we wait to address the challenges, the harder it becomes. My government has made a comprehensive plan to revive the economy.
“The only way to a stronger economy is to restructure, rebuild and reform the economy,” he said.
“The measures involved are painful measures; these measures will be felt by all of us but are unavoidable, if we want to get our economy back on track. These measures are like those of a doctor conducting a lifesaving operation that causes pain. The pain is the only thing that will lead to recovery.”
Mnangagwa said Finance minister Mthuli Ncube has projected a six percent economic growth rate by year end compared to the earlier projected 4,5 percent; a trend which he said is similar to fast growing economies like Ghana.
He urged citizens to be patient and remain positive, further noting that his government is prepared to make structural reforms and cut down on expenditure.
“It’s a pity that some of you feel gloomy about the situation but it is a time to be patriotic,” he said.
“We are taking a joint journey towards a better and secured future to build the Zimbabwe we want.
“The road is long, winding and sometimes bumpy but there is no other way which is the road to the middle income economy.”
Businessman Shingi Mutasa, who gave the vote of thanks, said government should not allow the 2008 situation where employees’ pension funds evaporated.
“We cannot afford to destroy the pension fund as in the 2008 scenario, we should not allow it,” he said.
Presidential spokesperson George Charamba told the media last weekend that yesterday’s meeting marks the beginning of intensive interaction between the president and various economic players as the country works to recover the economy in line with the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP). DailyNews