Patrick Chitumba, Midlands Bureau Chief
COVID-19 is hindering implementation of programmes aimed at improving livelihoods, but Government remains focused on achieving Vision 2030.
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Sibusiso Moyo told villagers and Zanu-PF supporters gathered at Mpesi Business Centre in Mberengwa West over the weekend that Government programmes have been suspended following the outbreak of Covid-19.
The minister said despite that, President Mnangagwa is still pushing Vision 2030 so that every Zimbabwean enjoys the fruits of the vast natural resources.
Dr Moyo said President Mnangagwa was emphasising the need to put people first when making any decisions or policies relating to Covid-19.
“Covid-19 has affected smooth operations of Government programmes. Because of the virus, some programmes have had to be suspended but the Government is still alive to Vision 2030 which is aimed at improving the livelihoods of Zimbabwean people. The people must enjoy the fruits of their hard work, fruits of the natural resources and President Mnangagwa is worried about the welfare of the people,” said Dr Moyo.
“It has affected the implementation of programmes by President Mnangagwa. It hasn’t spared us as a country. Programmes are being derailed and we are not yet sure how far it is going to go in the country.”
Dr Moyo said Zimbabwe embassies across the world were registering thousands of people to be repatriated.
“We have our people, your relatives who are in other countries, they want to come back home and are coming back and we can’t wish them away. They are registering at all our embassies across the world, they want to come back home. Our law says we can’t denounce our people because this is their home,” he said.
Dr Moyo said every returning resident must undergo the recommended Covid 19 testing as well as quarantine.
He said returning residents account for most of the Covid-19 cases which have been recorded in the country, but they mustn’t be discriminated against.
“Because of Covid-19, we have been holding virtual Sadc meetings and it shows how things have changed. Covid-19 has affected the economy, slowed down rehabilitation of roads for example but President Mnangagwa is saying people first, economy later. So, it’s not a punishment to restrict movements of people. It’s about protecting the people and then the people will be well to work on reviving the economy. We will gradually be looking at ways to relax some lockdown rules and regulations.”
Dr Moyo warned businesses against rejecting the local currency saying they were breaking the law.