Zvamaida Murwira / Blessing Chidakwa, Harare Bureau
The two new Cabinet ministers and the new deputy ministers sworn in yesterday are eager to turn around the economy through reviving the construction industry and information communication and technology, as well as ensuring affordable telecommunication tariffs.
In separate interviews, they said their thrust would be to create jobs and deepen provision of social services in line with Government’s Vision 2030.
The Cabinet ministers and the deputies, who were predominantly youthful, were yesterday at State House where they were sworn-in by the Head of State and Government, President Mnangagwa, who announced their appointments at the end of last week.
The coming in of youthful faces followed hints by the President during an interface with Zanu-PF youths that he was going to appoint more young people into Government.
President Mnangagwa divided into two the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to create a new ministry named National Housing and Social Amenities.
Two Cabinet ministers and six deputies were sworn-in yesterday. Those already in Cabinet, but just reshuffled did not need to take new oaths.
In an interview, newly appointed National Housing and Social Amenities Minister Cde Daniel Garwe said his ministry would focus on construction of houses.
“The construction industry has been dormant because of the economic hardships the country is going through,” he said. “This is a service industry. People would first want food before they think of building.
“Our mandate is to turn around the economy and the construction industry plays a critical role in turning around the economy. Construction provided instant job creation and instant wealth creation and the employment was less reliant on technology and more on hard work.
“It is a hard-hat industry. It creates a massive amount of jobs. That is what we are going to push to ensure that our youths, women and everybody else gets employment.”
Minister Garwe said he would strive to bring order into housing cooperatives that have been building houses on sites without social amenities.
The new Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services Minister Dr Jenfan Muswere said: “Looking at the pre-budget seminar that we had in Victoria Falls, we were covering mainly the infrastructure aspects of ICTs which is line with the Transitional Stabilisation Programme”.
He said there was need to ensure that ICTs fulfilled the key pillars of the economy such as infrastructure, utilities, and governance.
“The basis of the entire mobile network operators and fixed telephone operators is to ensure their businesses are viableand also to ensure that we protect theconsumers, the citizens of Zimbabwe,” said Dr Muswere.
His deputy, Cde Dingimuzi Phuti, said ICTs should drive industry in protecting intellectual property.
“ICT is the future,” he said. “If you check five listed top companies in the world, four of them are ICT. It poses, therefore, a challenge to the ministry to which l have been assigned and it will take a lot of learning from various stakeholders who are into it.”
Deputy Minister of Local Government and Public Works Cde Marian Chombo said: “You know there is a problem with water in local authorities.
“I will try to do my best and make a mark to ensure that Zimbabwe’s rural folk get water and I will try my best to complement my minister.”
Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development Deputy Minister Raymore Machingura said he was “humbled by the appointment”, and looks forward to learning more from the Minister, Professor Amon Murwira, to develop the country.
“The Minister (Prof Murwira) has a great vision of resuscitating our industry through Higher and Tertiary Education, so I will work to support him for that vision to be realised,” he said.
Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Deputy Minister Tinoda Machakaire said he felt “indebted to the President for showing confidence in me”.
“As a successful and youthfulbusinessman, I feel that my appointment is a huge boost to Government’s resolve to fight corruption and empowering youths,” he said.
Other appointments include Cde David Musabayana, a former Minister of State for Mashonaland East Province, who was appointed Deputy Minister for ForeignAffairs and International Trade, and Cde Clemence Chiduwa, who becomes the Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development.