Deputy News Editor
President Mnangagwa’s foreign trips have been fruitful as shown by results on the ground in the form of road projects, agriculture mechanisation and provision of quality health care, Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Mr Nick Mangwana has said.
In a tweet on Sunday, Mr Mangwana said road works in Makuti being financed under a US$21 million grant from Japan were at an advanced stage.
One of the President’s foreign trips which saw him in Minsk, Belarus, led to an agriculture mechanisation equipment facility worth US$58 million, and its fruits are visible after the equipment was delivered last year.
“Every foreign trip and every engagement undertaken by President @edmnangagwa has resulted in tangible results on the ground.
“From Japan to Belarus, from Belarus to UAE, you name it.”
Mr Mangwana said works on the expansion of the first 6,5km stretch of the 21km stretch on Harare-Chirundu highway in Makuti was nearing completion.
The initial works included carving out large boulders on hills that form the Zambezi Escarpment and laying out reinforcement structures, to tame the most treacherous parts of the 21km stretch which led to many accidents, especially involving haulage trucks that frequently veered off the road with some falling into the valley.
The stretch of the road had become notorious for causing delays due to congestion as haulage trucks struggled to navigate the steep gradient.
Cargo for countries in Sadc, Comesa and East Africa passes through the Makuti-Chirundu Road, making it imperative that the stretch be widened.
President Mnangagwa went to Japan in August 2019 for the Tokyo International Cooperation on African Development (TICAD) Summit where he met with then Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and called for increased cooperation and support.
The President also visited Belarus in January 2019 and met with that country’s President Alexander Lukashenko.
His visit to Belarus was part of a four-country Eurasian tour which also took him to Russia, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, and entered into various agreements with those countries.
In his remarks during the inaugural Russia-Zimbabwe Business Forum during the trip, President Mnangagwa said: “Yesterday, I held very fruitful meetings with him (President Putin) and I have no doubt that hereafter, both the economic and political co-operation between our two countries will, with greater impetus, reach new heights.”
Already, Russia has pledged to donate Covid-19 vaccines to Zimbabwe, a result of the good relations existing between the two countries.
China, which President Mnangagwa has also visited, has already donated 400 000 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine and citizens are being vaccinated.
Economic Mr Persistence Gwanyanya, praised President Mnangagwa for leading the mobilisation of resources, but implored every citizen to play a part.
He said it was “not debatable” that Zimbabwe needs capital to rebuild, and domestic resources were not enough.
“There is therefore need for effort from all angles to mobilise both domestic and external resources to rebuild,” said Mr Gwanyanya.
“Given the frosty external relationships and poor investment ranking for the country, the President, as the figurehead of the country had to take lead in mobilising resources especially from the external sector.
“The progress so far, which includes, conclusion of deals for farming equipment with Belarus as well as mining investments, is commendable especially in view of the fact that by its very nature, investment is long-term.
“Now as the President does the public relations function, his efforts should be complemented by robust operatives who can structure sound deals in both trade finance and capital investments space.
“With the current state of affairs, vanilla and traditional structures fall short of what is needed to unlock the required capital. Even at domestic level, there is need to be more innovative to unlock capital, which is sloshing all over and currently being deployed in speculative and rent-seeking activities.”
Mr Gwanyanya said huge private investments in mainly properties, are an indication of lack of incentives for private sector to invest in productive activities.