ZANU PF insiders say President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s move to suspend bank lending was motivated by internal power dynamics in ZANU PF and the fear of losing the 2023 elections to a resurgent opposition.
The ruling party is scheduled to hold its congress later this year and there is speculation that Mnangagwa could be challenged by his deputy Constantino Chiwenga.
ZANU PF insiders who spoke to The Standard claimed that on one hand, Mnangagwa suspects his colleagues are sabotaging him while on the other, he fears the newly formed Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC). Said a senior ZANU PF member:
Mnangagwa’s measures were calculated to deal with the pressure he is facing internally over the state of the economy.
There are a lot of dynamics at play with the upcoming congress and growing fears that CCC is gaining ground against ZANU PF.
There is also the constant fear that the president is being sabotaged by enemies from within and outside the party.
On Saturday, 7 May, Mnangagwa issued a decree stopping banks from lending activities or offering credit lines to businesses and individuals.
Thereafter, Mnangagwa met the owners of companies that authorities blame for the exchange rate volatility.
Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) president Kurai Matsheza confirmed to The Standard that they met Mnangagwa last week. Matsheza said:
We engaged the president and we are expecting the best outcome from those deliberations.
The engagement process is still ongoing and when we have finished the talk, the result will be publicised.
We are glad that he allowed us to meet him to talk about such issues affecting the industries.
Meanwhile, Victor Bhoroma, a Harare based economist, blamed corruption for the country’s economic challenges. Said Boroma:
The real causes of the economic failures we are witnessing today have their roots in the central bank.
The bank has no independence from political interference and has zero willingness to allow market forces to determine the price of foreign currency.
In 2019, the Government reintroduced the Zimbabwe dollar but the local currency has been losing value rapidly over the past few months.