have either collapsed or were seized.
“The government has set aside a 30 billion Zimbabwean dollar facility for the distressed companies,” Industry and International trade minister Obert Mpofu told business leaders in Bulawayo. “The government has allocated us enough funds to make sure that industry does not collapse. All we are saying is come forward and let us talk because we are here to assist.”
Retailers and manufacturers hiked their prices on a daily basis in a bid to keep pace with rampant inflation, but the government last month order stores to slash their prices in half, a move that has led to widespread shortages.
Mpofu said he did not want to destroy the business sector, but make it viable.
“Once you are in business and happy, you will also leave us to run the country,” he said. “I will hate a stage where I will be forced to take over the companies from you, but if you do not co-operate that is what is going to happen and this is the position of government.”
Although Mpofu ordered businesses to halve the prices of their goods and services three weeks ago, he said the government is working on a pricing formula to ensure business viability.
This week, the government upped the price of a three-quarter litre bottle of cooking oil from 78,890 Zimbabwe dollars to 91,000 Zimbabwe dollars.
Amid daily price rises, Mpofu accused businesses of rampant profiteering and colluding with President Robert Mugabe’s foes in the West to plot the regime’s downfall.
THE government has set up a fund to revive firms that shut down because of Harare's blitz to slash rising consumer prices. According to the ministry of Industry and International Trade, government had set aside US$30bn ($214,000) to revive the defunct State Trading Corporation to run firms that