ZANU PF central committee member and Affirmative Action Group (AAG) founder, Philip Chiyangwa yesterday lashed out at the government for introducing bond notes, describing the move as a sign of economic failure, while also criticising Zimbabweans for being cowards who do not challenge the system.
Source: Chiyangwa savages govt over bond notes – NewsDay Zimbabwe December 3, 2016
BY XOLISANI NCUBE
Addressing an AAG conference in Harare, Chiyangwa said black businesspeople should be daring and boldly challenge the government on some of its policies for the “prosperity of the country”.
“Surely, how can you print a paper and sign it and then tell me it is money? No, no, no. We need to challenge some of these things,” he said.
“It’s not illegal to speak your mind out like I am doing here, even if the Vice-President (Emmerson Mnangagwa) was here, I would have told him my honest truth and others would have thought I would not sleep at my house (in fear), but let me tell you, I was going to say whatever I want and still sleep at my house.”
Chiyangwa said Zimbabweans should not be cowards, who flee the country after challenging the status quo, citing #ThisFlag founder, Evan Mawarire, who is now in exile after leading a protest against growing corruption.
The businessman said with the intelligence and literacy Zimbabweans boosted of, it was a shame that the country has failed to transform that into economic activity.
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe this week introduced bond notes, as a way of reducing the cash crisis, which has seen many people sleeping in bank queues.
The notes – widely seen as a sign of failure – are said to be an incentive for exporters. “I was in Cameroon and everyone there knows what they are supposed to do, but here we don’t. We don’t want people like Mawarire, after challenging the government, you are arrested and then you flee, no, we need people who are courageous,” Chiyangwa said.
“As long as you are talking of things that have nothing to do with politics, you will not be in trouble. Here I am, I can say what I want and have people listening to me, but it does not mean I should then think I can challenge the President in an election. I should know where to stop.”
The Zifa boss said the government has derailed the economic empowerment thrust through policy inconsistences.
“That alone, left the whole thrust a bite off the rail. People are not happy, if it means repealing the entire indigenisation law, let it be so and then government comes up with a new law that deals with the black empowerment thrust in a better and appropriate manner,” he said.
Mnangagwa and a number of Cabinet ministers were supposed to attend the function, but for unknown reasons, they did not pitch up.
Indigenisation minister Patrick Zhuwao was represented by a director in the ministry, who read his speech, which attacked the Zanu PF-aligned black empowerment lobby group.
He said AAG has lost its relevance in the thrust to push the government for more empowerment initiatives.
AAG president, Chamu Chiwanza expressed reservations on bond notes, saying it showed that government had failed to manage the cash crisis.
“I know that it is not our currency (US dollar), but we should have done better to manage it. In our view, we believe that the issue of bond notes is a sign of failure,” he said.
Chiwanza said the government was being hampered by factional fights that seemed unending and vowed that his institution would not be used to fight or support any group within the disjointed party.