Good times lie ahead: Hard-working President ED Mnangagwa assures Zimbabweans

President ED Mnangagwa

PRESIDENT Mnangagwa has said “good times lie ahead” for all citizens to enjoy as his administration walks the talk in transforming the economy in line with Vision 2030 targets, which buttress the gains of the liberation struggle.

The successful rollout of fiscal and monetary reforms and the massive infrastructure development projects being witnessed across the country since the coming in of the New Dispensation in 2017, are a reflection of Government’s determination to comprehensively transform ordinary people’s livelihoods, said the President.

Addressing thousands of people who attended the 42nd Independence Day celebrations at Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo, the first time since 1980 for such an event to be hosted outside Harare, President Mnangagwa said key milestones are being recorded in all fronts and urged Zimbabweans to continue working hard while patiently waiting to reap the fruits of their labour.

In 2021 alone, the economy grew by 7,4 percent, while in 2022 it is projected to grow by 5,5 percent, leveraging on the peaceful environment, increased production and productivity, infrastructural development, a buoyant mining sector as well as a recovering tourism and hospitality industry.

“Good times lie ahead and the fruits of our labour will be there for all to enjoy. Let us not grow tired but keep marching forward with joy, great optimism, determination, zeal and focus in unity, peace and freedom,” said President Mnangagwa.

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“Production, productivity, hard honest work, innovation and an entrepreneurial culture are the cornerstones of all our individual and collective national effort.

“Hence, realistic and responsive approaches will continue to mould the implementation of our policies, projects and programmes, informed by the development mantra that: ‘ilizwe lakhiwa ngabanikazi/Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo’.”

To that end, the President said his Government stands committed to ensuring that conditions of services for all civil servants are commensurate with their important role in driving national development.

The Second Republic, he said, is unwavering in its commitment to create opportunities in agriculture, mining, manufacturing, tourism, infrastructure, healthcare, education, sciences and ICTS, among other sectors.

Despite the unforeseen external shocks and difficulties induced by illegal economic sanctions, President Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe has a lot to be proud of, which has been realised over the past 42 years.

He highlighted major infrastructure development and expansion being championed across all provinces and made reference to the 571km Beitbridge-Masvingo-Harare Highway, which is set for completion this year and the rehabilitation of the Beitbridge-Bulawayo-Victoria Falls Road.

The long-awaited Lake Gwayi-Shangani, which was first conceptualised in 1912 and only constructed under the Second Republic, is finally set for completion this year and will conclusively resolve the perennial water challenges of the City of Bulawayo.

The project would also result in a vibrant agriculture sector in Matabeleland North to meet the needs of the province and vault export-led productivity, leveraging on Victoria Falls and Hwange Airports, said the President Mnangagwa.

“The construction of Kunzvi Dam, which will cater for the water requirements of Harare has begun while the long outstanding construction of Tuli-Manyange Dam in Matabeleland South, Vungu Dam in Midlands as well as Bindura and Semwa Dams in Mashonaland Central are progressing well,” he said.

“Marovanyati Dam in Manicaland Province, Muchekerwana Dam and Chivhu Dam in Mashonaland East Provinces have been completed.”

The massive water projects are expected help the country fight the dire impact of climate change through enhanced mitigation and adaptation capacity while ensuring food and nutrition security.

Similarly, the President said significant progress was being recorded on the 158km Nkayi-Bulawayo Road, Zvishavane- Rutenga Road and the Mberengwa-West Nicholson Road.

He said the Harare-Guruve-Kanyemba Road, Harare-Nyamapanda Highway and the Mbudzi Interchange in Harare have also reached notable milestones.

The completion of the Chiredzi-Tanganda Road as well as the Chivi-Mandamabwe Road has resulted in increased efficiency on those routes while upgrading and modernisation of the Robert Gabriel Mugabe and Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airports is on course. Already the upgrading of the Buffalo Range Airport is complete.

“In line with my administration’s determination to deliver inclusive development to the people, construction and rehabilitation of feeder roads, bridges, clinics, classroom blocks and other social amenities have been undertaken within our local authorities,” said President Mnangagwa. “These are proving to be key enablers for increased economic activities and convenience, across all provinces, districts and wards.

“Other national infrastructure projects that have been implemented include Chinhoyi Magistrates Courts; Guruve, Murehwa and Buhera Central Registry complexes; Phase 1 of the Beitbridge Border Post Modernisation and the Lupane Water Supply and Irrigation Scheme, among others.

“These projects are a reflection of independence, freedom and development, which benefit all our people, being advanced by the Second Republic.”

President Mnangagwa said the laying of a sound infrastructure base was crucial for sustainable socio-economic development, growth as well as enhancing the country’s role towards regional connectivity and integration.

As such he said the Government was forging ahead with new energy and power development projects such as the US$1,4 billion 600MW Hwange Power Station unit 7 and 8 Expansion Project, whose first phase will be completed this year as well as other renewable energy alternative.

Citing immense mining sector potential to spur socio-economic development, the President revealed that Zimbabwe was on course to achieving the target of a US$12 billion milestone by 2023.

He applauded artisanal and small to medium scale gold miners for contributing 62 percent of the total gold deliveries to Fidelity Printers in 2021.

Recently, Zimbabwe assumed the vice chairmanship of both the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme and the African Diamond Producers Association, and would subsequently become chair in 2023.

The President said his Government continues to avail the requisite support and enabling environment towards the resuscitation and growth of industry and commerce.

This has seen capacity utilisation in the manufacturing sector increasing beyond 65 percent, resulting in locally produced basic consumer goods constituting about 70 percent of the market.

“The development of rural industrialisation is being prioritised, leveraging on the various unique resources within our communities,” said President Mnangagwa.

“Meanwhile, total exports are projected to grow by 10 percent this year, following the penetration of the export market by more of our businesses, including those at the grassroots level.”

With regards to tourism and hospitality, the President said the increased number of airlines from three at the onset of the Second Republic to 7 is a testimony of the growth trajectory of the sector as well as the undeniable success of “our Engagement and Re-Engagements efforts”.

Despite the adverse impact of Covid-19, the sector recorded investments of over US$142 million last year and there is anticipated rebound this year.

The enhanced Covid-19 vaccination drive has also improved tourism confidence while also helping to restore normal learning in the education sector.

Over and above this, President Mnangagwa stressed the need to scale up adoption of science, technology and innovation and pledged to channel more resources towards expanding the availability of science related infrastructure at all schools in the country.

Similarly, institutions of higher learning, will aggressively propel scientific and technology driven innovation and productivity towards the establishment of sustainable business enterprises for the emerging national economic realities and needs.

President Mnangagwa said achieving Universal Health Coverage remains a priority area for his Government and highlighted that the country has recorded a reduction in maternal mortality as one of the key milestones.

More health facilities are being constructed, rehabilitated and modernised from the districts upwards to enhance accessibility and convenience to the general populace.

The resuscitation of the Pharmaceutical Sector through the deployment of various research and development initiatives at innovation hubs, is also being speeded up.

The President said the Second Republic was determined to implement the necessary policies, projects and programmes to guarantee all Zimbabweans access to safe and affordable housing and basic social amenities in the country.

He urged all Zimbabweans at home and abroad to come on board and play their part by exploiting niche opportunities to help build the country, which has abundant business and investment prospects.

President Mnangagwa challenged local authorities to fully embrace principles of good governance and reflect the modernised, industrialised and prosperous focus that is being built by the Government.

Through the 2022 National Budget the Government has already set aside ZW$42,5 billion to fund devolution projects countrywide.

The signing of performance contracts by Cabinet ministers, heads of ministries and public entities is also expected to give impetus to high performance culture among office bearers to enhance accountability and good governance.

— Chronicle

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