The President, Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa, on Friday emphasised the need to repair and expand physical and social infrastructure as part of measures to create an environment conducive for economic growth.
Zimbabwe long identified infrastructural development as one of the key components of the country’s economic development blueprint, Zim-Asset. It is because of this realisation that Government is spending billions of dollars on infrastructure development. Among the major infrastructure projects that Government is undertaking is the upgrading of the country’s road network.
The Zimbabwe National Competitiveness Report released last year noted that among the shortcomings that are making Zimbabwe unattractive to Foreign Direct Investors is the deteriorating state of the country’s roads and railway infrastructure. This, according to the report, has resulted in high costs of transport.
Government has already started upgrading its road network as part of measures to address the shortcomings noted in the report. The rehabilitation of the 820km Plumtree-Mutare Highway at a cost of $206 million has been completed and preliminary work on the Beitbridge-Harare-Chirundu Road which will cost millions of dollars has started. Government has also upgraded the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport in Bulawayo and the Victoria Falls Airport in Victoria Falls town.
Cde Mnangagwa said apart from upgrading infrastructure, key choices will have to be made to attract Foreign Direct Investment and tackle high unemployment levels while transforming the economy towards the tertiary. He said the many skilled Zimbabweans who left the country over the years for a variety of reasons must come home and participate in the revival of the economy.
He said as the nation focuses on economic recovery, citizens should refrain from misbehaviours and acts of indiscipline which have characterised the past.
Cde Mnangagwa said acts of corruption should stop forthwith.
The President said civil servants should know that it is no longer business as usual but should instead roll up their sleeves in readiness to deliver. “A new culture must now inform and animate our daily conduct” said Cde Mnangagwa.
The new work ethics should also be embraced by workers in the private sector so that they too become productive. We have said before that the task to rebuild our economy is the responsibility of each and every citizen. President Mnangagwa in his address after his swearing in, gave a very detailed road map on what should be done to turn around the economy and it is our fervent hope that his speech will be used as a reference point by those in both the public and private sector.
Cde Mnangagwa implored Zimbabweans to declare that NEVER AGAIN should circumstances that have put Zimbabwe in an unfavourable position be allowed to recur or overshadow its prospects and we have no doubt this is the wish of every Zimbabwean.