CCZ blasts man­u­fac­tur­ers

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Richard Muponde

THE man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor has let con­sumers down by fail­ing to pro­duce enough for the do­mes­tic mar­ket de­spite en­joy­ing pro­tec­tion from com­pe­ti­tion in the last few years, the Con­sumer Coun­cil of Zim­babwe (CCZ) has said.

In a re­cent in­ter­view in Plumtree, CCZ ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor, Ms Rose­mary Siy­a­chitema, said man­u­fac­tur­ers have taken long to in­crease ca­pac­ity in or­der to meet lo­cal de­mand for goods and ser­vices.

“They have been talk­ing of re­cap­i­tal­i­sa­tion since the time of for­mer Re­serve Bank of Zim­babwe Dr Gideon Gono. How long does it take to re­cap­i­talise and start pro­duc­ing? Now they have changed the phrase and are talk­ing of re­tool­ing but noth­ing is be­ing pro­duced. It’s not fair to the con­sumers in this coun­try who have been suf­fer­ing for long,” said Ms Siy­a­chitema.

In­dus­tri­al­ists on one hand have blamed lack of for­eign cur­rency and ob­so­lete ma­chin­ery for sub­dued ca­pac­ity util­i­sa­tion, which has been hov­er­ing be­low 50 per­cent since dol­lar­i­sa­tion in 2009.

Ms Siy­a­chitema also chal­lenged farmers to work hard and pro­duce enough for the coun­try so as to cut im­ports which con­tinue drain­ing for­eign cur­rency earn­ings.

“At the mo­ment 90 per­cent of soya bean is be­ing im­ported from South Africa, which is not healthy for the econ­omy. At least we should be im­port­ing only 30 per­cent and that makes sense,” said the CCZ boss.

She wel­comed the lift­ing of the ban on se­lected im­ported ba­sic com­modi­ties by Government say­ing this will ease the bur­den on con­sumers who are be­ing ripped off by re­tail­ers charg­ing ex­or­bi­tant prices.

“We hope those with free funds will bring ba­sic com­modi­ties into the coun­try at af­ford­able prices. We are also push­ing for the op­er­a­tional­i­sa­tion of the Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Act to pro­tect con­sumers. Once it’s op­er­a­tionalised we can be able to pros­e­cute those break­ing the law. Re­tail­ers have been us­ing a three tier pric­ing sys­tem for the past three years but noth­ing has been done about it. It is ab­nor­mal,” said Ms Siy­a­chitema.

Re­cently Cab­i­net ap­proved prin­ci­ples of the Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Bill, which will be tabled be­fore Par­lia­ment soon. The pro­posed law, which has been in the pipe­line for some time, is ex­pected to give bit­ing pow­ers to the CCZ, which has largely been viewed as a tooth­less dog. — @ richardmuponde

“We are also tar­get­ing the re-open­ing of the Cold Stor­age Com­pany, and Mashava Mine as well as in­vest­ment of a mini­hy­dropower gen­er­a­tion at Tugwi-Mukosi Dam, Manyuchi and Lake Mu­tirikwi,” he said.

The con­fer­ence was at­tended by chief ex­ec­u­tives from all seven Ru­ral District Coun­cils, farmers, cap­tains of in­dus­try, aca­demics, pro­vin­cial de­part­men­tal heads, among oth­ers. — @wal­terbm­swazie2 lend­ing thus or­di­nar­ily will de­spise non per­for­mance on debt.

What debt de­notes Debt mean­ing is a way of sub­jec­tive in­ter­pre­ta­tion. Here we are not touch­ing on good debt as ex­plained in the ar­ti­cle good debt bad debt. Debt over­hang has that I don’t care at­ti­tude of some­one that is be­ing ir­re­spon­si­ble or does not care any­more. Mostly this at­ti­tude is ex­hib­ited be­cause there are con­se­quences to hav­ing un­ser­viced debt.

It can also be a sign that one has turned rogue and no longer fear reper­cus­sions that might fol­low. It is also telling of a deeper un­der­ly­ing struc­tural eco­nomic chal­lenges that are af­fect­ing the ca­pac­ity to set­tle out­stand­ing debts.

It is also a cul­ture trait of just ow­ing with­out do­ing jus­tice to the fi­nan­cial obli­ga­tion that will be ac­cru­ing. Is it not time we kill crim­i­nal­ist debt to bring us into the right frame­work to sta­bilise our coun­try.

Government debt Given that the Cen­tral Bank has the le­gal in­stru­ment to ad­here to and man­age Government bor­row­ings any short­com­ings have to be crim­i­nalised. The guide­lines are there. Thus, any wil­ful vi­o­la­tions have to be dealt with de­ci­sively.

Un­know­ingly, vi­o­lat­ing the said Act will need rem­edy within the short­est pos­si­ble time­line oth­er­wise it has to be treated as wil­ful vi­o­la­tion with­out any se­ri­ous reper­cus­sions to send the right mes­sage.

Th­ese debts are bring­ing long suf­fer­ing to our pop­u­lace. The same prin­ci­ple should be prac­ticed across the board. In other words, all gov­er­nance is­sues should be crim­i­nalised and dealt with in ac­cor­dance with the pro­vi­sions of the law.

Black­list­ing It will be in the best in­ter­est of the coun­try for black­list­ing as a guiding prin­ci­ple be­hind clear­ance for job seek­ing, bank ac­counts open­ing, fund­ing re­quests and seek­ing credit and even for in­ter­na­tional re­lo­ca­tion.

To en­force in­tegrity the check­ing of black­listed in­di­vid­u­als should be on­go­ing to gauge go­ing suit­abil­ity of em­ploy­ees es­pe­cially those man­dated to hold in trust other peo­ple’s as­sets.

Black­list­ing shouldn’t just be for in­di­vid­u­als but even cor­po­rate bod­ies, lo­cal government and even paras­tatals. The need for credit rat­ing across the board is a must if we are to turn around the econ­omy.

Pro­fes­sor Amon Mur­wira

Ms Rose­mary Siy­a­chitema

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