DELEGATES attending a Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) congress in Bulawayo on Wednesday took to task the Minister of Finance, Herbert Murerwa and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor, Gideon Gono, saying their addresses were “too polite and peripheral”
to resolve the country’s mounting economic problems.
Delegates who spoke after Gono and Murerwa’s keynote addresses said the two had skirted around vital issues.
Bulawayo businesswoman, Ruth Labode, challenged Murerwa and Gono to implement viable policies and avoid skirting around issues and cited Air Zimbabwe which she said carried a few people to China instead of cancelling the route altogether.
“It is crystal clear that there is no business to China,” she said. “Why doesn’t the government just cancel the flight? There are always one or two passengers on the plane and they are usually government ministers going to China to sign one or two memorandum of understandings,” Labode said.
Zimind P/L chief executive officer, Raphael Khumalo, also said Gono and Murerwa should tackle key issues affecting the economy to get the country out its crisis.
“What this country needs is international engagement,” said Khumalo.
“We cannot stand here when we have zilch in terms of foreign currency and say we can do it by ourselves,” Khumalo told the congress.
“There is no rule of law in the country and the government needs to address that issue. Arresting people for keeping $20 billion shows that the leadership does not understand the fundamental issues. There is more need for consistent policy than to arrest people for things that are legal like keeping money.”
Another delegate challenged those attending to justify their presence at the conference by asking pertinent questions instead of praising Gono for doing his job.
“People should not be afraid to ask questions and what most people have been asking is not critical to the situation in the country,” said the delegate.
Gono accused private businesses of becoming havens for money laundering and vowed to continue a clampdown on those hoarding large sums of cash for black market activity.
“Enough is enough for some of you who are continuously increasing prices unjustifiably. The monetary authorities urge you to stick to the prescribed rules before we take action,” Gono warned.
Gono said out of $43 trillion that was supposed to be circulating in the country $15 trillion was not accounted for, meaning it was doing business outside the country.
“Your membership must avoid accepting the role of sanctuaries of crime. The private sector must stop being a fertile ground for money laundering,” Gono said. — Staff Writer.