Emmerson Mnangagwa sent out a stern warning that his government will deal with what he termed malpractices eroding its attempts to address Zimbabwe’s economic crisis.
“We shall not allow a situation where our people live in chronic insecurity, lack and deprivation. It has become apparent that in our midst there are wolves in sheep’s clothing,” he said in a televised address to the nation in Harare.
Two weeks ago, Mnangagwa blamed Zimbabwe’s currency problems on political critics and greedy private sector players.
He said that the Zimbabwean dollar was under attack from businesses which were constantly raising prices and this was part of a wider political scheme against his government.
Zimbabwe’s local currency has plunged on the black market, fuelling price increases and pushing inflation to 765%.
Zimbabweans have grown increasingly frustrated with the direction the country has taken since the ousting of the country’s longtime leader, Robert Mugabe, in 2017. Mugabe stood down after a military takeover and days of civilian protests.
Mnangagwa has faced a host of political and socio-economic challenges since succeeding Mugabe.
The country’s economy, facing one of its worst crises in decades, is grappling with runaway inflation and spiralling commodity and fuel prices amidst a food shortage. The public sector has also suffered a number of strikes, particularly by doctors and other health service workers protesting against low salaries and poor working conditions.
Zimbabwe’s energy regulator has said that fuel prices in the country are set to go up by as much as 152% on Wednesday after the government removed a fixed exchange rate in place since March.
Even as the government struggles to address all these problems, it has to contend with the novel coronavirus outbreak and a surge in cases of malaria.