PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa says the cornerstone of the Second Republic is the deployment of dialogue as a means of resolving conflict.
The President made the remarks in Bulawayo this Friday where he met representatives of the Matabeleland Civic Society as a follow up to the last meeting held last year.
16 key issues were discussed which included the emotive issue of Gukurahundi, issuing of birth certificates to victims of Gukurahundi, devolution, Zambezi water project, social service delivery, increased participation of women in government and parliament, corruption in local authorities and youth participation and empowerment.
President Mnangagwa said Zimbabweans must learn from the past in order to avoid previous mistakes. The President was referring to open discussions on Gukurahundi in which he highlighted that to discuss Gukurahundi is not a crime as long as it is meant to assist the healing process.
President Mnangagwa also said the government is committed to the spirit and principles of development which reaches all Zimbabweans regardless of geographic location.
“We have demonstrated before that we are capable of resolving even the most acrimonious disputes amongst us amicably through internal dialogue and negotiations, we will continue to talk and listen, and to deal with our differences with sensitivity, compassion & respect. To the people of Matabeleland and all Zimbabweans, my door remains open,” he said.
Turning to food security, the President revealed that Uganda has offered to supply Zimbabwe with maize, following a meeting between Presidents Mnangagwa and Museveni on the sidelines of the recent African Union Summit in Addis Ababa. He said Minister Perrance Shiri has since been despatched to Uganda to spearhead the grain importation.
“Funds originally earmarked for capital projects are being re-directed towards food importation to ensure food security in the country,” he said.
On corruption, the President emphasised his determination to fight the scourge, adding all pillars of State must play their role for the fight to be won. He implored the Legislature and the Judiciary to complement government in the fight.
President Mnangagwa also alluded to the energy situation in the country saying Zimbabwe now needs a climate-proof energy policy which should ensure power stability. The President reassured the meeting that in 18-months’ time, Zimbabwe would be closer to that ideal.