By Nkosana Dlamini

President Emmerson Mnangagwa says Zimbabwean business owners imposing extortionate pricing for goods and services were open candidates for execution in China and were lucky to have him as their leader as he did not subscribe to the cruel form of punishing big crime offenders.

He was speaking while officially opening the Zimbabwe Economic Development Conference (ZEDCON) in Victoria Falls Friday.

In earlier remarks, Finance Ministry permanent secretary George Guvamatanga lamented greed by some private players he accused of milking consumers through unjustified pricing.

Guvamatanga made reference to obscene pricing of tourism and hospitality products in which some operators now demand US$600 for accommodation and meals for a single day, based on the official exchange rate, with some flight services now pegged at US$1 500.

HORIZONTAL

He said this was unacceptable adding that government ministries would not support “such extortionate pricing systems”.

Responding to Guvamatanga, Mnangagwa said economic sabotage was too grave an offence that it attracted the death penalty in China.

“Your statement was loud and clear and we shouldn’t be having people doing this in our society. We don’t want our society as a nation to be constituted by such characters,” Mnangagwa said.

“We have a duty as citizens to our nation to play fair and be remembered for building our country and not destroying it.

HORIZONTAL

“It’s unfortunate that what is happening in Zimbabwe, if he (Guvamatanga) said it in China, we’ll be having candidates for execution. But in Zimbabwe, I as the President don’t want death penalty and we need to find other means of punishment.”

The Zanu PF led government is at pains to arrest galloping inflation being propelled by continued increases of goods and services as a result of a fast weakening domestic currency.

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