Farirai Machivenyika, Senior Reporter
President Mnangagwa has assured the international community that the Government will accelerate the implementation of the reform agenda this year, but called for patience.
He said this at a luncheon he hosted for diplomats accredited to Zimbabwe yesterday at State House.
The President reiterated that Zimbabwe will this year focus on productivity.
“The Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) will now focus on production, trade, job creation and economic growth. As the year progresses, elaborate plans will be implemented to achieve our key objectives.
“Key among these is the acceleration of our reform agenda so that there are visible benefits that accrue to the majority of the people. We urge you all to be patient as we implement these reforms,” he said.
The reforms, President Mnangagwa said, were dependant on all arms of the State, which sometimes slowed down the pace of implementation.
He said Government’s desire was that economic and political reforms progress together though this was not the case due to several factors.
“You will appreciate that the three arms of the State operate with their own calendars and at their own pace. More importantly, we must carry our people with us, as we reform,” he said.
The President acknowledged the challenges ordinary people were going through, but expressed Government’s determination to continue until the state of the economy improved.
“You will be aware that most jurisdictions which have undertaken structural macro-economic reforms such as those we have begun, enjoy immense financial support from international financial institutions.
“However, Zimbabwe has not enjoyed the same privilege. My Government shall, however, continue to expedite the various programmes we have begun to turnaround the fortunes of our economy,” said President Mnangagwa.
The Government, he said, aims to engage the international community, not as beggars, but as partners who are competitive, attractive and a stable investment destination.
“The pursuance of our reforms which consolidate the peace, unity and national cohesion remains at the core of my Government’s agenda. In this regard, the Political Actors’ Dialogue (POLAD) is making notable strides and positively contributing to promoting sustainable dialogue, a culture of peace, tolerance, unity, national healing and reconciliation as well as rebuilding trust and confidence in our national institutions,” he said.
President Mnangagwa also told the diplomats that parties participating in POLAD met in December to review activities held in 2019 and developed a strategic plan for 2020.
He said all parties within POLAD were determined to improve the effectiveness of the platform going forward.
“Our arms remain outstretched to welcome those political actors who are yet to join,” he said.
“I invite you to strengthen your perspective partnerships and collaborations with us as we seek to consolidate our democracy, as well as transform, industrialise and modernise our economy.
“A peaceful, democratic, stable and economically prosperous Zimbabwe is indeed of greater benefit to the people of this country and the broader global community. Let us together, explore ways of boosting trade during the year through greater focus on economic diplomacy between and among ourselves towards a shared future and achieving development which leaves no one behind.
“In doing so, I exhort us to strive to engage with each other on the basis of mutual respect.”
He said Government had achieved most of the set targets under TSP, though there were some challenges brought by drought and Cyclone Idai.
This affected agricultural production in most parts of the country.
Government’s immediate priority is to guarantee food security by ensuring that all vulnerable households have food.
The President reassured the nation that food distribution will not be politicised.
In his remarks, the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, DRC Ambassador Mwawapanga Mwanananga, thanked President Mnangagwa for hosting the luncheon.
“This ceremony is very important. It is very crucial and very important as you embark on re-engagement,” said Ambassador Mwanananga. It might seem a simple thing to do, but it is very important.”
Ambassadors that attended the event later greeted the President to mark the New Year.