Mashudu Netsianda, Senior Reporter
GOVERNMENT under the Second Republic has adopted a development strategy driven by the need to modernise the infrastructure and promote new investment which align with the country’s growth trajectory and Vision 2030, Acting President Constantino Chiwenga has said.
Officially opening Sai Mart Supermarket yesterday, Acting President Chiwenga said as part of Government efforts to attain Vision 2030, business owners should build better infrastructure to replace the facilities that had been destroyed during the January 2019 violent protests that rocked the country’s major cities and towns.
“Simultaneously, we are determined to create employment and decent jobs for the people.
I am happy to be present for the unveiling of this great facility, which aligns with the Government’s overarching growth trajectory,” said the Acting President.
“Under the Second Republic, the development strategy is driven by the need to continuously modernise the infrastructure, promote new investment and new business development.”
The Acting President said under the Second Republic no one and no place will be left behind in terms of development as Government continues to implement people-centred policies meant to turn the country into a middle-income economy by 2030.
He urged the private sector to complement Government efforts through investing in businesses that uplift citizens’ lives.
“It is without doubt that we commend an endeavour by the private sector to complement Government efforts to improve people’s standards of living.”
Acting President Chiwenga said the newly opened Sai Mart Supermarket in Entumbane suburb in Bulawayo will enhance home-based production and spur local firms to unlock their business potential.
“I have no doubt that this business complex will be a lubricant that enhances home-based production. In the same vein, it will spur local firms and organisations to unlock their business potential,” he said.
Acting President Chiwenga said the city of Bulawayo, which was the most affected by the demonstrations, lost about $20 million in stock, equipment and damage to property.
He said the reconstruction of the infrastructure and opening of the Sai Mart Supermarket was borne out of the galvanising national maxim that ‘nyika inovakwa nevene vayo/ilizwe lakhiwa ngabaninilo.”
Acting President Chiwenga said the signature investment in Entumbane by Pin Tail Trading, an indigenous company, adds to other retail investments under their purview.
Sai Mart has outlets in Emakhandeni, Lobengula, Nketa 6 and Mountainview.
Pin Tail Trading employs nearly 500 people.
“These investments have undoubtedly widened the distribution network for the local industry with the drive for shopping convenience and reliable value-added services closer to our people,” said Acting President Chiwenga
The Sai Mart Supermarket is housed at a reconstructed building, which was one of the structures damaged during the January 2019 violent protests that rocked the country’s major cities and towns.
In Bulawayo, marauding youths who were part of the rioters, unleashed an orgy of violence, burning cars, property, looting shops and forcing schools to close.
They beat up teachers and pupils during the three-day nationwide stay away called by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) and other civic society organisations aligned to the opposition MDC-Alliance.
The protesters also attacked more than 30 police officers in Bulawayo, killing one of them and disrupting public life.
They burnt tyres and barricaded streets using drums, trolleys and stones, forcing police to fire tear gas.
Businesses lost goods and property worth millions of dollars when the violent protesters went on a looting spree and in some case torched the buildings
Acting President Chiwenga said following the tragic event, Government played a leading role in bringing normalcy to Bulawayo.
“An ad hoc inter-ministerial committee on emergency relief to businesses and communities was established.
The committee established the nature of the assistance required for the businesses to speedily recover and bring about normalcy in the provision of goods and services to communities affected by the violent demonstrations,” he said.
This led to the establishment of an emergency relief fund to provide low interest loans to finance the recovery of the businesses as well as the implementation of strategies to restore normalcy in the affected communities.
Acting President Chiwenga implored citizens to desist from acts of violence and riots saying it hinders development and deprive people of their livelihoods.— mashnets