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Lawlessness hampers recovery – Gono

Godfrey Marawanyika

RESERVE Bank governor Gideon Gono has slammed continued lawlessness in the country which he said could hamper efforts at fast economic recovery.

na, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>In his monetary policy review statement presented in Harare on Wednesday, Gono said there was deliberate sabotage of property, productive land and factories that he feared would hamper his efforts to save the economy.

The comments by the central bank governor come in the wake of violent farm invasions in parts of Manicaland which saw two Export Processing Zone-registered firms being kicked off their properties. Workers were beaten and thrown out of Kondozi Farm and Charleswood Estate which were recently taken over and occupied by government supporters.

“Land and factory capacity underutilisation, disunity among us as a nation, indiscipline and deliberate sabotage and disruption of productive land, factories, mines and tourism capacity will also undermine our efforts towards early revival of the economy,” Gono said.

“As business, labour, government and monetary authorities, we need to work together in the spirit of a mutually binding social contract to consolidate on the favourable trend in inflation registered to date.”

Government recently forcibly acquired farms belonging to the main sugar producers in the country – Hippo Valley Estates.

In the past three months government has also been making plans to acquire all land belonging to private game parks, a move which has been widely criticised by international organisations.

Over the past four years government, business and labour have been trying to come up with a social contract but the process has failed to pass the hurdle of the declaration of intent.

Gono offered favourable terms to those who had earned money outside the country. “Those individuals who earn ‘free funds’ in terms of Exchange Control Regulations, Statutory Instrument 109 of 1996, ie earnings from professional consultancy services conducted outside Zimbabwe and foreign currency denominated salaries for Zimbabweans working for diplomatic missions and NGOs, can now be deposited into individual FCAs which shall be exempt from surrender requirements,” he said.

“Zimbabweans that are benefiting from foreign currency remittances from their relatives in the diaspora may also open individual FCAs with similar terms and conditions.”

The new set-up will see those with FCAs being allowed to withdraw up to US$5 000 a day.

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