President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said everyone must play according to rules as economic saboteurs face imminent arrest.

The President said those who walk through the straight and narrow need not fear.

President Mnangagwa made the remarks in his weekly Economic Dialogue published in our sister publications The Sunday Mail and Sunday News yesterday.

The President said police investigations have proved that illegal money changers operating from the streets are mere pawns in the black market scheme.

“As we work towards improving and stabilising the flow of foreign exchange into the productive sector, we must at the same time ensure and enforce discipline in the market. This means everyone must play to rules and norms, including respecting the laws of the land. Sadly, events of the past two weeks have shown this is not so,” he said.

“Not everyone is playing to the rules. Partly because of wanton illicit currency deals happening in what is known as the black market, our economy has been disturbed. We have suffered massive market failures, manifesting in complete collapse of the pricing framework for virtually all commodities, regardless of import component. There has been a run on the bond note. In all this, there have been no winners, given that at the end of the day we are all consumers who demand and buy goods and services at any one stage for our survival.”

He said he will use emergency powers vested in him by the constitution to come up with laws to arrest offenders.

The President said Government will adopt international statutes to stop the bleeding in the financial sector which is also costing the State in taxes.

“In the United States of America, they have the Office of Foreign Assets Control (Ofac). We need a similar measure in our financial services sector,” President Mnangagwa.

“The information before me shows that individuals and shelf companies not involved in any gainful or productive economic activity are engaged in fuelling instability in the economy. Zimra is neither aware of this, nor does it get its own share of taxes or revenue.”

He said the banking sector has a case to answer as some of the illegal financial flows are happening right under its nose.

“In most economies, sudden huge movements of money or unexplained “swelling” of deposits raise eyebrows. Millions have been moved unexplained in our financial services sector, with no one batting an eyelid,” President Mnangagwa said.

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