Zimbabwe’s main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) says President Robert Mugabe’s government is going to worsen the plight of ordinary Zimbabweans with its plan to seize private companies it sees as threats to its stay in power. This follows threats by the minister for industry that the government has started identifying companies, which he said flouted controversial price controls in order to seize them. The government said those companies are agents of the west trying to force a regime change by frustrating the government’s attempt to stabilize prices of goods and services in the country. It added that it was difficult to enforce the price controls if the government did not control the companies that produced the goods.
Nelson Chamisa is the spokesman for the opposition MDC. From the capital, Harare he tells reporter Peter Clottey that the government, by its action, is totally destroying the economy, which he said is already in crisis.
“It’s clear that this regime is having its last supper. This regime is determined to strip the national assets, this regime is determined to feed on the national economic carcass, and what this regime is trying to do is obviously to feed from that carcass and also to make sure that the bleeding and the hemorrhaging of the economy is exacerbated. Seriously, we know that what they are simply going to do is to share the wealth and apportion it to the various hoodlums of the ruling party. You can see that this is a clear agenda to start looting,” Chamisa pointed out.
He described the government’s attempt to control prices of goods and services by seizing defying companies as ill advised.
“That is absolutely rubbish. That is nonsensical because what this government has done is to just force people to go to the black market, to go parallel, and now things are being found on the parallel market at very high prices, which again is affecting the poor. The shortages are not going to affect ministers. I have not seen any single minister or any member of parliament in a queue of petrol or even sugar. These are people who are benefiting from these looting, and it is so clear to make people suffer because the ordinary people from the high-density areas in the rural areas are again the ones who are going to be hard hit by the problems of shortages at the black market,” he said.
Chamisa said although there are signs of some shops filling their shelves with goods, the goods are still above what the ordinary people can afford.
“As we are speaking, we are beginning to see few shops starting to have products on the shelves. But again, the prices are very high. There is a crisis of the ability to deliver to the people of Zimbabwe, and this is why whatever they are doing is not adding up, whatever they are doing doesn’t wash, particularly, when it comes to what is going to resolve the national challenges,” Chamisa noted.
He denied the companies targeted by the government take-over are trying to force a regime change.
“You must know that when a leopard decides or chooses to devour its own offsprings, it would start accusing them of smelling like goats. And this is what is happening in this situation. The regime is obviously targeting people who are perceived to be anti-government or people who are perceived to be just running their businesses the way they want. It has noting to do with comics; it is all to do with politics, and politics is at play. ZANU-PF is obviously going to victimize those who are perceived to be sympathetic to the opposition because what they are simply doing is to sort of crucify and germinate any kind of logic in terms of economics,” he said.