Zim at 41 : United in Building the nation

by | Apr 19, 2021 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

Nevanji Munyaradzi Chiondegwa

A fifth decade of existence as a sovereign nation is a milestone worth celebrating. Several other achievements have been registered in the past immediate decade which include enduring peace, a stable and growing economy, and a thriving democracy.

This year’s Independence Celebrations, held under a different atmosphere due to Covid-19 restrictions, were without the usual gathering at the giant National Sports Stadium for main activities such as Presidential address and defence forces displays.

The theme of the celebrations; “Zimbabwe at 41: Together, Growing our Economy for a Prosperous, Resilient and Inclusive Society” addresses issues that are core to national growth and development; Unity, political tolerance and perseverance as we grow the Economy. The address by His Excellency, President Emerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa today at State House to mark the celebrations indicated as much for it focused on achievements and hopes as he maintained the focus of the New Dispensation; less politics and more economics.

The President addressed several issues of national importance including the Covid-19 Vaccination programme which was launched with support from friendly nations and developmental partners whose assistance in the mitigation of the pandemic has been invaluable. The unity of purpose and spirit of oneness displayed by our citizens in abiding by the national lock-down regulations cannot ever be ignored. The dedication and sacrifice the front-line workers and security forces did not escape the notice and therefore mention of the President.

President Mnangagwa once again highlighted the commitment to the land reform and maintain his original stance of its irreversibility. He reminded all that; “We will always protect the significance and sacred spirituality of our land” and that signing of the Global Compensation Agreement, contrary to the misdirection of our detractors was not a reversal of the land reform but rather a reaffirmation of the irreversibility and commitment to Constitutionalism.

Cognisant of the fact that our Economy is agro-based and that majority of our people are engaged in Agricultural activities In one way of the other, the rallying call of the New Dispensation of Production, Productivity And Profitability of the agriculture value chain was repeated.
President Mnangagwa took time to outline the many government Agricultural programs and interventions including Presidential Climate-proofed Pfumvudza/Intwasa Programme, Presidential Input Support Scheme, Command Agriculture, Presidential Horticulture Programme which have yielded commendable results.
These interventions, coupled with timely provision of extension services, have seen the country attain a bumper harvest this season.

The Grain Marketing Board has received $60 billion from Treasury for timely payments to farmers. Pertaining to livestock, the Presidential Climate Proofed
Livestock Scheme will see the increase of the national herd through an intensified artificial insemination programme, distribution of tick grease and the wide spread renovation of dip tanks across the country.
To improve production, productivity and profitability, government continues to facilitate agricultural mechanisation for farmers at affordable cost.

The implementation of the National Accelerated Irrigation Rehabilitation and Development Programme as well as the Smallholder Irrigation Revitalisation Programme has been made possible by the normal to above normal rainfall received this year which has led to the rise of the water levels in our dams and reservoirs.
To this end, Marovanyati and Causeway dams in Buhera and Marondera respectively have been completed and Gwayi-Shangani Dam will be completed by year end.

The Economic reform agenda under the Transitional Stabilisation Programme was a success and the successor program National Development Strategy 1 is already under way despite revised economic growth estimates as a result of Civid-19. Budget surpluses and containment of inflation, a major source of macroeconomic instability, have been some of the successes under TSP.

The foreign currency auction system has also enhanced transparency and accountability in the distribution and use of foreign currency and Zimbabweans are urged to exercise prudence and discipline towards the attainment of broader financial and economic stability in our country.

The Local Content Strategy has seen an increase in locally produced goods and commodities on our country’s market shelves. This is reflective of the positive national sentiments on our economic growth potential, anchored on the Second Republic’s consistent and predictable policy environment

In line with the Zimbabwe is open for business mantra, efforts are under way to structurally transform the economy from an exporter of predominantly primary products to higher nodes of industrial development in order for Zimbabwe to penetrate global value chains. The Border Efficiency Management System will see reduced congestion and enhanced efficiencies at ports of entry and diaspora participation in the Economy will be promoted.

The mining industry is projected to rebound by 11 percent this year. Guided by the strategy to achieve a US$12 billion mining industry by 2023, programmes that include increased exploration, expansion of existing mining projects, resuscitation of closed mines, opening of new mines, mineral beneficiation and value addition are being prioritised.
In line with devolution, provinces and communities are urged to maintain a keen interest in these mining development projects to prop up Provincial GDPs, create employment and improve the quality of life of our people.

In the energy sector, expansion of Hwange Unit 7 and 8 is nearing completion while the refurbishment of Unit 6 and 3 will be overhauled and refurbished adding 280MW of power to the national grid.
Informed by the Renewable Energy and Bio-Fuels Policy, Government is promoting private sector investments in the sector. To this end, an Independent Power Producer, Zimbabwe Zhongxin Electrical Energy is working on a 50 MW thermal power plant in Hwange, which is now 97% complete.

Following the launch of the Covid-19 vaccination programme, there is hope for the revival of the hard-hit tourism sector. Incentives are being offered to increase domestic tourism under the Tourism ZimBhoo Campaign, including the provision of a Government Guarantee to improve access to finance, for further development of the sector.

The country is harnessing and effectively deploying local resources and human capital to upgrade and modernise it’s infrastructure. The heavy rains received across the country have taken their toll on roads, bridges and other infrastructure and in response, Government has launched Phase 2 of the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme for the urgent rehabilitation of roads throughout all provinces.

The upgrading and expansion of the Harare-Beitbridge highway as well as rehabilitation, improvement and widening of sections of the Chirundu highway are progressing well. Government is continually replenishing the ZUPCO fleet towards the resuscitation of the public transport sector.

The rehabilitation, refurbishment and expansion of airstrips such as Binga in Matabeleland North and Chapoto in Mashonaland Central provinces, among others, are ongoing.

Devolution and decentralisation agenda is gaining traction and changing the landscape of many districts and to date devolution funds over ZWL$1 billion have been disbursed to Local Authorities for various community projects which cascade down to the Ward level.
Health, Education and ICT have also gained from devolution and decentralisation. ICT is the future and all departments are urged to harness it in their activities.

Women, youth and SMEs have a pivotal role in society and are emerging as important players in sectors such as agriculture and mining. Their empowerment and financial inclusion remain a priority. Regarding youth development and empowerment, Government successfully reviewed the National Youth Policy and has reintroduced the National Youth Training Programme. These provide a broad framework for the empowerment of youth in a comprehensive, coordinated and multi-sectoral manner.

The government has introduced Performance Contracts for Heads of Ministries to ensure accountability, transparency and the speedy attainment of targets set in the NDS1. Performance Contracts will also be rolled out to State Enterprises, Parastatals and Local Authorities.

Under the National Development Strategy 1, the country’s foreign policy remains deeply rooted and informed by national interests and the engagement and re-engagement as well as the Pan-African ethos. The government is pursuing economic diplomacyy for the advancement of the economic prosperity of our country.

Perhaps the most powerful part of the Presidential Independence address that best captures the theme and the overall government drive of inclusiveness was the closing remarks where the President said; “We have begun this new decade of our Independence with greater determination, resolve and confidence to achieve the Vision we set out for ourselves. A Vision of an empowered people with a higher standard of living. A Vision of a thriving and prosperous economy, which plays its part within the comity of nations. Together, let us unite in our purpose, collate our potential and walk hand-in-hand towards our common destiny.”