Get ready to work: President Emmerson Mnangagwa
ZIMBABWEANS should get ready to go back to work with increased discipline as the country readies to achieve speedy economic recovery in the next 10 years to transform it into an upper middle-class economy by 2030, President Mnangagwa has said.
Delivering his Independence speech broadcast on television, to the nation to mark 40 years of Independence yesterday, President Mnangagwa said despite disruption brought about by the coronavirus (Covid-19), the country remained on track to achieve its Vision 2030.
The main celebrations were supposed to be held in Bulawayo but had to be cancelled due to the lockdown measures that were put in place by the Government to deal with the pandemic.
“Beyond grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic, we have to keep our economy functional. Unavoidable shocks and disruptions must be mitigated. Once the lockdown is over, we must all get back to work, with discipline and harder effort as we ready ourselves for a speedy economic recovery. The silver lining to the present global health crisis is the awakening of our national creativity and inventiveness,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said the coming decade should define the country’s economic trajectory.
“Independence is about determining our own fate and choosing to take our destiny into our hands. We are now a 40-year-old democracy; a mature nation. As we begin this important ‘Decade of Action’, may we never lose focus of the bigger vision, to develop and modernise Zimbabwe towards an upper middle-income economy by 2030.
“I, therefore, urge you all listening and watching, to join me in seizing the moment with fighting spirit, as gallant and fearless warriors; towards a prosperous future. Through us, individually and collectively, the vision, hopes, dreams and aspirations of those who lifted our flag and celebrated that 1st Independence Day 40 years ago, must remain alive!”
He also assured the nation that no one will starve although the country is enduring another drought.
“Today our stocks are being replenished through massive food imports. Food will reach vulnerable households so that no one will starve, this includes those in urban areas. Orphans and vulnerable children continue to benefit from the Basic Education Assistance Module, BEAM, with a total of 1,2 million children expected to be on the scheme this year,” he said.
The President reiterated that there is no going back on the land reform programme as it was a fundamental cog to the nation’s independence and sovereignty but noted that there was a need for continuous fine-tuning of strategies to enhance land utilisation, equitable access and productivity.
He said the expansion of grain production to a broader variety of traditional crops, besides maize will eventually yield the desired benefits from the agrarian reform.
“I want to express gratitude to all our farmers who have managed to produce to sustain and feed our nation, even under several consecutive droughts. Henceforth, our thrust is to make our agriculture adapt to climate-change. The more than half a billion dollars set aside for the rehabilitation and expansion of irrigation projects countrywide, has marked the emphatic implementation of smart agriculture. Government will continue to put in place the appropriate incentives to encourage this new trajectory. The Presidential Input Support Scheme and other Smart Agriculture strategies outlined in the Agriculture Recovery Plan, are being consolidated to enable beneficiaries under these schemes to excel,” said the President.
He said the country’s mechanisation project was on course, with more agricultural equipment coming in from across the world.
Turning to the economy, the President said the mining sector should now reposition itself to be at the core of resuscitating the country’s economy.
“The mining sector must redouble its efforts to facilitate the resuscitation of our economy. Projects already underway across different minerals, coupled with the ongoing reforms give hope that the target of a 12 billion-dollar mining sector by 2023 is achievable.
“In the energy sector, it is pleasing that the water inflow into Kariba Dam, which is a key source of our hydro-power, is improving. It is integral that the energy mix continues to improve with regards to both the thermal generation capacity as well as renewable energy sources. I, thus, urge all stakeholders to be robust, flexible and responsive and to keep the bigger national interest in perspective. Silo mentalities have no place in the course we are taking,” said President Mnangagwa.
He said at Hwange Power Station, Units seven and eight which were under construction are expected to be commissioned during the second quarter of next year, which will help improve energy supplies in the country, bringing in an additional 600 megawatts to the national grid.
President Mnangagwa said with his guidance the Second Republic remained committed to the engagement and re-engagement policy revealing that the country’s diplomatic missions have refocused towards economic diplomacy, through the promotion of trade and investment, for win-win partnerships.
“We harbour no ill-will against any nation. Zimbabwe seeks and pursues friendship with all peoples and nations. We are further optimistic that those nations which have wronged and hurt us, will realise that there is more to be gained from friendship and alliances. Meanwhile, we thank all those who have weighed in to call for the lifting of these illegal sanctions.
“I thank the European Union for softening its stance towards us. I implore Washington to promptly lift these illegal sanctions against us without any preconditions. They are illegal and hurtful to our people; Zimbabwe does not deserve them,” he said.
— Sunday News