Price stabilisation tops Politburo
THE Zanu-PF Politburo yesterday tackled challenges affecting the economy, with price stabilisation topping the agenda of intense deliberations that lasted over seven hours.
During the 316th Ordinary Session of the Politburo, Vice President and Zanu-PF Second Secretary General Constantino Chiwenga (Retired), who is heading a Cabinet committee on price stabilisation, gave a comprehensive report outlining progress made in arresting rampant and unjustified price increases.
The meeting also focused on national food security and interventions being made to ensure food sustenance during drought periods.
Addressing journalists on the sidelines of the Politburo meeting that was still underway at the time of writing last night, Zanu-PF secretary for Information and Publicity Cde Simon Khaya Moyo said Gen Chiwenga reported that there was notable reduction of prices of some basic commodities and further reductions were expected as production in industry increased.
“The Vice President and Second Secretary, General Constantino Chiwenga (Retired), presented a report on the increase of prices. The report was extensively discussed, focusing on price stabilisation. The report reflected that multi-sector stakeholder engagement was undertaken with industry, civil society, Government and indeed other sections of the community. The report notes that fuel, as a cost driver across the board and its impact on the general populace, has to some extent been addressed and will continuously be monitored,” said Cde Khaya Moyo.
Government, he said, will not tamper with market prices as this was likely to negatively impact on the economy.
“We shall continuously monitor the situation hoping that we can further see some reductions when the economy improves. There have been some noticeable reductions of some basic commodities, but as the economy improves more reductions are expected. The issue of foreign currency shortages must be viewed as a business mandate and not just as a responsibility of Government. We don’t intend, of course, to tamper with market prices as this may cause unnecessary distortions in the economy,” he said.
Gen Chiwenga’s report was adopted by the Politburo and his committee was tasked to continue with its work, including making quarterly reports to the Politburo.
On agriculture, Cde Khaya Moyo said: “The Minister of Agriculture Chief Air Marshal Perrance Shiri (Retired) gave a comprehensive report on the state of agriculture in the country. The report stated that the national maize stockholding at the GMB is at 998 826 metric tonnes, against a national consumption of 150 000 per month. The country is currently food secure. Although the country has been gripped by some drought, irrigation equipment has been procured to alleviate the inadequate rainfall in order to increase crop productivity through provision of pivots, generators, transformers et cetera. Prolonged drought conditions are still a threat and plans are underway to counteract this problem. The report also covered the Presidential Input Support Scheme. The programme is supporting 1, 8 million households for maize and 400 000 households for cotton. A report was given on the rainfall situation, distribution, crop status, crop condition and the general irrigation development. The report also covered Command livestock, fisheries and wildlife, inclusive of (the) state of animal health, including foot and mouth and tick-borne disease. There was also a report given on environment, water and climate.”
Cde Khaya Moyo said Health and Child Care Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa briefed the meeting on the recent award on the fight against malaria conferred to Zimbabwe at the recent African Union Summit in Ethiopia.