Despite several hurdles on the country’s economic revival path in the form of natural disasters, successive droughts, divisive opposition politics and foreign economic aggression, the country will ultimately emerge victorious, President Mnangagwa has said.
In a Special Address to the nation at State House yesterday, the President noted that although the Second Republic made it crystal clear upon assumption of office that its mission was to improve the plight of the majority, through an elaborate agenda of reform, restructuring and rebuilding towards achievement of Vision 2030, hurdles have been strewn along the way.
He urged the nation to “cultivate a society of hope and not despair, of inspiration and not desperation, unity and peace and not disunity and love instead of hate”.
Since the advent of the New Dispensation, the country has been assailed by a series of natural disasters such as Cyclone Idai, a horrific disaster that led to loss of life mostly in the eastern parts of the country last year.
“The New Dispensation came with the clear goal to improve the plight of the majority of our people, through an elaborate agenda to reform, restructure and rebuild, towards the achievement of Vision 2030. Undoubtedly, my Administration has faced many hurdles and attacks since its inauguration.
“These included the divisive politics of some opposition elements, the illegal economic sanctions, cyclones, droughts and more recently, the deadly Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.
To mitigate the devastating effects of Cyclone Idai, the Government committed extensive resources towards giving succour to the affected families as well as rebuilding infrastructure.
The situation was worsened by successive droughts, something which meant that the Government had to commit towards mobilising resources to feed distressed families.
As if that is not enough, the country was to plunge into another disaster after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic early this year, which saw the scaling down of most economic activities.
On top of having to mobilise resources to support industries that have been hit hard by the novel pandemic and also having to assist the needy, Zimbabwe is having to deal with retrogressive opposition political parties fervently campaigning for economic sanctions to stay.
Against all the odds, Zimbabwe has been pulling through, much to the chagrin and dismay of doomsayers in the opposition and their handlers who of late have been trying to manipulate the economy so as to make the general person suffer.
The President, whose Government is on a re-engagement drive to build bridges with all nations and is deliberately industrialising through ramping up activities in mining, agriculture, road infrastructure and other key sectors, said the country will overcome.
“Added to this, is economic aggression, local currency manipulation and detractors who fear the inevitable imminent success of our reforms. All this was meant to undermine our projected economic growth and stability. As a result, we have had to constantly recalibrate our compass to ensure that we remain on course, and that the standard of life of the majority in our society gets better and better. The direction we desire remains unchanged. Our goal remains clear and stable. Forward ever!
“This is the goal of peace, unity, stability, development, progress and prosperity. Although our progress has been slowed down, rest assured that we shall achieve our objectives. We will overcome. We will defeat the attack and stop the bleeding of our economy. We will overcome attempts at destabilisation of our society by a few rogue Zimbabweans acting in league with foreign detractors.
“The reforms, opening up, liberalisation and modernisation we began shall continue with accelerated pace. Those who promote hate and disharmony will never win. The bad apples that have attempted to divide our people and to weaken our systems will be flushed out. Good shall triumph over evil,” he said.
When President Mnangagwa assumed office in 2018 after triumphing in elections that were universally certified free and fair; freedoms under the Second Republic flourished as he walked the talk to democratise the country and also adhere to constitutionalism.
He initiated overarching political reforms that saw some pieces of legislations such as the Public Order and Security Act (Posa) and the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) being repealed and replaced by inclusive laws such as the Maintenance of Order and Peace Act (MOPA) and the Freedom of Information Act.
The President also made uprooting corruption one of his key missions. His anti-graft crusade has seen senior Government officials, including ministers, being sacked. They were arrested and released later.
The President, in his speech, implored Zimbabweans to work together in unity and love so as to disarm the dark forces both within and outside the country’s borders that thrive on disunity.
“The dark forces, both inside and outside our borders, have tempered with our growth and prosperity for too long. They have thrived on dividing us. Let us as a people embrace the call for patriotism, hard work, transparency, accountability, love, unity and peace.
“Now is the time to embrace the opportunities before us with optimism and determination to transform and modernise our society. The door to the old manner of doing things is shut. The corrupt way is closed.
“Let us therefore pledge, individually and collectively, to defend our country, to be productive, to grow our economy and never to tear our motherland apart by dividing its people. In unison we must proclaim that “Enough is enough. This is Zimbabwe, our Motherland and we will defend her from any form of attack,” he said.
With Zimbabwe set to celebrate the Heroes Day, the President said Zimbabweans should take a leaf from the heroic efforts of the country’s forbearers to “look forward, as one people — a united people . . . (and) press on, with vigour and hope; hand-in-hand, being each other’s keepers”.