BY MOSES MATENGA
THE deepening economic crisis is weighing down on the ruling Zanu PF party, which has described the situation as a security threat which needs to be contained before it’s too late.
Zanu PF has been struggling to address the country’s economic challenges ever since extending by another five years its decades-long rule following a disputed election victory last year.
The party said in its latest central committee report that the economy remains a “latent security” threat, but also sought to blame the United States, the opposition MDC, some civic society organisations and even drought for its failure.
“The most latent security threat that has grave consequences is the unstable economy, which is largely propelled by the thriving parallel market (black market),” the report by the party’s national security department read.
The report states that ordinary Zimbabweans have lost confidence in the direction the economy was going and were “angry”, while government also blamed natural disasters for the crisis.
“Formal trading prices are determined by the parallel market exchange rate, which has been sharply rising on a daily basis. This has resulted in inflation also rising to unprecedented levels. Prices of all commodities and services have followed suit to unsustainable levels. Most people are failing to make ends meet, so are poverty levels that are rising very much throughout the country. As a result, anger is brewing among the citizens, while there is loss of confidence on the direction the economy is taking,” the report read.
“Owing to the incessant price hikes of commodities, the food security situation is exacerbated by the fact that there were poor harvests experienced due to the El Nino-induced drought.
People are expecting the immediate introduction of Silo Shops to ameliorate the food shortages challenge.”
“Unemployment in the formal sector continues to rise with some companies closing shops as the economic performance experiences a downturn. The labour market is receiving a large number of graduates, most of whom are not employed. This group is a time bomb which needs to be treated with caution as they can be used by detractors to work against the ruling party.”
Over seven million rural and urban dwellers are in need of food aid due to drought and a deteriorating economic situation, according to the United Nations.
Zanu PF is also afraid of infiltration and has tasked its security department to be wary.
The party said there were fears that “saboteurs”, including the opposition and the West, were capitalising on the economic crisis to plot against the administration of President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Information deputy minister Energy Mutodi warned the MDC, the G40 cabal and some civic society organisations that they would be dealt with if they dare plot against Mnangagwa.
“This is what Chamisa has been whispering together with his G40 contacts, hoping there will be chaos in the country leading to some sort of political change. The G40, MDC, and some embassies have been working tirelessly to cause divisions in the government and, at least, achieve a change in the leadership of the country through unconstitutional means,” Mutodi said.
“Government is very much aware of the machinations towards regime change and we are working ahead of every obstacle that may try to militate against our rule,” he warned, adding Mnangagwa would remain President until 2028 after he was “unanimously” endorsed as the party candidate ahead of the 2023 elections.