Zimbabwe’s business leaders have slammed violence that erupted in Harare’s central business district (CBD) on Wednesday, saying it was not good for business growth.

This came after the army shot and killed six people, injuring several others after protesters alleged electoral fraud by Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) in favour of ruling Zanu PF party.

Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce chief executive officer, Christopher Mugaga urged parties to desist from violence, adding that it had the capacity to trigger further economic deterioration.

“The events that happened yesterday (Wednesday) are regrettable. Solving disputes through demonstrations and guns does not solve anything. Both parties are accountable. All parties should be to blame for the turn of events. Disputes should be solved through the courts. It is not surprising to see the United States dollar to the RTGS rate nose-diving and going as high as 85%,” he said.

Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries president Sifelani Jabangwe weighed in, saying violence was toxic for economic growth.

“This will also have an impact on the projected growth of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). It also gives a negative impact on international funders who gives the industry money for capitalisation.”

“There was lot of revenue lost, especially in the retail outlet, transport business as most of them did not manage to work during the second half of the day. Some of the damaged property is not covered by insurance,” he said.

This came after the government projected the country’s GDP growth at 4,5% with the World Bank pegging it at the modest 2,7%.

There was no business conducted yesterday as banks, retail shops and service providers operating in Harare’s CBD were closed as security personnel chased people out to curb a possible uprising.

In 2008, Zimbabwe held disputed elections which then culminated into the formation of government of national unity between the opposition MDC and Zanu PF.

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