Tendai Mugabe, Harare Bureau
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa has assured the nation that Zimbabwe is in good hands under his administration, saying the new administration has attracted US$11 billion Foreign Direct Investment commitment in the past five months.
He said sweeping investment reforms were underway as Government works towards attaining a middle income economy by 2030.
Addressing traditional leaders during the handover of the second batch of the chiefs’ vehicles in Harare yesterday, President Mnangagwa said Government was also working on lasting solutions to the current cash shortages.
“Let me assure you our traditional leaders that Zimbabwe is in good hands,” he said.
“We should sleep comfortably. I also believe that the communities which you lead are also in good hands. It will be bad if the country is in good hands and the communities are not in good hands. Since our last meeting (Gweru), great strides have been made towards the revival and rebuilding of our economy.
“To date, we have witnessed about US$11 billion worth of investment commitments from foreign investors. Cross cutting reforms are in motion to make Zimbabwe an attractive place to do business for locals and foreign investors alike.
“Locally, there has been an upsurge in capacity utilisation and overall industrial growth. While cash liquidity shortages and foreign currency availability continue to be constrained, my Government is implementing a cocktail of measures that will see the sustainable resolution of the challenges.”
President Mnangagwa urged traditional leaders to ensure that local authorities create an enabling environment to ease the doing of business in their communities.
He said it was important to inculcate a culture of hard work among Zimbabweans.
President Mnangagwa said Government was intensifying rural development especially refurbishment of roads.
“I have directed the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development, through the Zimbabwe National Road Administration to identify priority roads so as to facilitate prompt movement of goods and people,” he said.
“I also exhort District Development Fund and local authorities to equally accelerate rehabilitation and maintenance works on local and feeder roads under their purview. Urgency in this regard cannot be overemphasised as the recovery and development of our economy is underpinned by prompt movement of goods and services. As we pronounce that ‘Zimbabwe is Open for Business’, we also say Zimbabwe is in good hands. So the state of our roads should reflect that Zimbabwe is in safe hands and is open for business.”
President Mnangagwa said Government recognised the institution, status and role of traditional leaders as provided for by Section 280 of the country’s constitution.
He said they appreciated the crucial role played by traditional leaders in governance and he would want to have regular interfaces with them.
During yesterday’s ceremony, 84 traditional chiefs received their vehicles.
Those who received the vehicles were identified by the traditional chiefs through their provincial councils.
Mashonaland East and Manicaland provinces received 10 vehicles apiece, Mashonaland West (9), Mashonaland Central (7), Masvingo (13), Matabeleland South (8) and Midlands received 14 vehicles.
Out of the 281 chiefs across the country, 124 are yet to receive their service vehicles and President Mnangagwa promised that Government would honour its commitment to provide the vehicles as soon as possible.
With regards to the allowances of traditional leaders, President Mnangagwa said a review would be made during the Mid Term Monetary Review in June.
Meanwhile, President Mnangagwa said Zimbabweans should welcome international observers coming for the harmonised elections and demonstrate to the world that the country’s democracy had come of age.
The Head of State and Government and Commander in Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, reiterated that the forthcoming elections would be free, fair and credible.
Addressing traditional leaders during the handover of the second batch of chiefs’ vehicles in Harare yesterday, President Mnangagwa said the nation should demonstrate to the world that it was welcome to observe the elections.
He appealed to the traditional leaders to help Government to preach the gospel of peace and tolerance.
“Let me assure you that the coming elections will be free of violence, fair and credible,” he said.
“I don’t think there is a political party leader in this country who would not be happy if we have a peaceful election. In this regard, we appeal to you to help us to preach the gospel of peace, the gospel of unity, the gospel of tolerance and gospel of love among communities. Let the whole country in every corner say no to violence.
“As the election dates draw nearer and I know how near, the country will receive observers from across the globe to witness our elections. Let us show that we Zimbabweans are by nature a warm and hospitable people. This is not a desire, we are already so let us show our visitors that they are welcome to come and observe our elections.
“Let us also demonstrate that Zimbabwe’s democracy has indeed come of age and has matured. The will of the people we lead guides us in whatever we did.”
Government invited 46 countries and regional and continental bodies to observe the general elections.
This comes as preparations for the polls gathers momentum with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission recently announcing that inspection of the provisional voters’ roll would commence on the 19th of this month.