ED turns to Polad for cost-effective solutions

President Emmerson Mnangagwa

EMBATTLED President Emmerson Mnangagwa has turned to members of the Policy Stakeholders Dialogue (Polad) to help him stop the economic turmoil characterized by soaring prices of goods and services.

Speaking after meeting Polad directors at State House on Thursday, Mnangagwa acknowledged the country was in an economic mess but pointed the finger at “economic saboteurs”.

Polad was created by Mnangagwa after the disputed 2018 elections and is made up of losing presidential candidates from shadowy opposition political parties.

“Help me find economic saboteurs and deal with them,” Mnangagwa pleaded.

“We have established that some members of the business community are involved in fueling the parallel market, thereby destabilizing our local currency.

“Our economy has been attacked by unscrupulous and nefarious individuals and unions bent on sabotaging our way of life.”

Some staples such as cooking oil have disappeared from supermarkets while others are priced out of reach, especially as the local currency continues to lose value.

On Thursday, the Consumers Council of Zimbabwe said a consumer basket for a family of five hit $120,000, up from $98,000 in April, as inflation continues on an upward trend .

In a bid to halt economic decline, Mnangagwa announced a package of measures such as a ban on lending to banks, but later rescinded the decree following an outcry.

Earlier this week, the government lifted import tariffs to allow Zimbabweans to buy groceries across borders.

“The assault has created hardship for our citizens due to inflationary pressures caused by speculation in our local currency. I believe these activities have been caused by a third hand whose objective is to interfere and derail our national development trajectory,” Mnangagwa told Polad members.

Inside sources revealed that Polad members continued to profit from taxpayers’ money in endless workshops disguised as strategy meetings.

Political analysts said there was no need to continue pampering Polad members.

Political analyst Pardon Taodzera said, “Nothing tangible has come out of Polad members over the past four years. They must push for electoral reforms.

“They failed to convince the United States and its allies to lift the sanctions. They have failed to contribute significantly to the economy, but they continue to misuse state resources.

There was an uproar last year when Mnangagwa gave Polad members double-cab Isuzu D-Max vehicles, which cost around $60,000 each.

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