Employers to engage Mnangagwa

EMPLOYERS are set to meet Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa to discuss various concerns raised by their members at the Employers’ Confederation of Zimbabwe (Emcoz) annual congress in Victoria Falls last week, businessdigest has established.

By Kudzai Kuwaza

A number of issues were raised at the congress which include concern over the introduction of bond notes, the NationalHealth Scheme, the alleged abuse of the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef), the ease of doing business and the setting up of Special Economic Zones.

Emcoz executive director John Mufukare said they would meet Mnangagwa who oversees the economic cluster in Cabinet.

“We are going to meet Vice-President Mnangagwa and give him feedback of the issues we discussed at our congress,” Mufukare said. “We also want clarification on some aspects of his speech at the congress.”

Mnangagwa’s speech at the congress was read on his behalf by Information minister Christopher Mushohwe.

Employers grilled the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe economic research director Simon Nyarota over the surrogate currency which began circulating on Monday this week.

The employers slated the central bank for its failure to consult widely on the issue, adding the trust they asked for “is not transacted over the counter but earned.” The employers also branded the RBZ’s bond note campaign “a disaster.”

On allegations of the abuse of the Zimdef fund by Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo and his deputy Godfrey Gandawa, employers, who contribute to the fund for manpower development, told the Zimdef debts management manager Leonard Rwambiwa at the congress that they were not amused by reports of the fund being abused for political activities.

“We as employers are not happy with the Zimdef fund which is being abused,” an employer said. “We are not contributing to the fund to fund political parties but to cater for students. We are funding the welfare of our children not political parties.”

Rwambiwa said he could not comment as the issue “is before the courts.”

Employers are also concerned about the approval of the principles of the compulsory National Health Scheme by Cabinet at a time the economic crisis is deepening.

Mufukare said the scheme should not be introduced until the economy begins to register 3% growth. Other employers expressed concern that the National Social Security Authority would administer the scheme. Nssa has lost millions of dollars in dodgy investments and employers fear that they could botch the scheme.

The congress was held under the theme: Tying up the Loose Ends — What Business is Taking into 2017.