Zvamaida Murwira-Senior Reporter
ZIMBABWEANS should buy locally manufactured products given the significant growth of the manufacturing sector that has seen an increase in capacity utilisation and ease of doing business anchored by the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1), President Mnangagwa has said.
He said the economy has registered significant growth in agriculture, mining, finance and other sectors, resulting in an upward growth trajectory buoyed by a good agricultural season, firm international mineral commodity pieces and stable inflation and exchange rates and containment of the Covid-19 pandemic.
President Mnangagwa said this while delivering a State of the Nation Address (SONA) at State House where he also officially opened the Fourth Session of the Ninth Parliament.
“Our manufacturing sector is benefiting from the Import Substitution Strategy and Local Content Policy launched by my Government, coupled with the favourable ease of doing business environment. Growth of the sector and a steady increase in industrial capacity utilisation is being registered.
“Our people are encouraged to deliberately buy ‘Proudly Zimbabwean’ brands, which now dominate our shop shelves.
“Meanwhile, I urge our industrialists to broaden their research and development towards increasing the range and variety of ‘Made in Zimbabwe’ products,” said President Mnangagwa.
He said at the end of this year, the Second Republic will be making an inaugural evaluation of the performance management contracts signed by all Permanent Secretaries of Government Ministries in December last year.
“In January 2022, all heads of State-owned enterprises, parastatals as well as local authorities will be required to sign similar contracts in order to guarantee that our citizens enjoy value for money.”
In furtherance of the Government’s re-engagement drive, said President Mnangagwa, Zimbabwe continued on its quest to be “a friend to all”.
Consequently, he said, Zimbabwe continues to seek new frontiers for investment and trade hence it is participating at the “Dubai Expo 2021” running until March, 2022.
“In addition to such initiatives, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade along with other ministries, departments and agencies also host trade and investment promotion events, in line with my administration’s economic diplomacy thrust.
“I want to heartily commend all Zimbabweans in the Diaspora for their patriotism and contribution towards the national development agenda and building our mother country.”
Turning to the Covid-19 vaccination roll out, President Mnangagwa said as a clear endorsement to the programme, Zimbabwe has begun receiving requests for hosting regional and international meetings in Victoria Falls.
He said the Government had noted with grave concern that some youths were under siege from the scourge of drug and substance abuse, something that threatened the core of the country’s future if it went unchecked.
“As such, the recently set up inter-ministerial committee has been tasked with finding lasting solutions to reverse and end this disconcerting trend. Our security services are equally seized with the matter,” he said.
President Mnangagwa outlined several achievements by the Second Republic which include infrastructure development particularly the Emergence Road Rehabilitation Programme, procurement of modern buses under the national transport management system, agriculture, Covid-19 vaccination programme, foreign currency auction system, power generation and regularisation of illegal settlements among others.
“These successes are being recorded against a backdrop of the continuing illegal economic sanctions. The sanctions have a deleterious impact on our economy. We therefore reiterate our calls for their urgent and unconditional removal,” said President Mnangagwa.
On agriculture, President Mnangagwa bemoaned the loss of livestock due to diseases.
“The distribution of tick-grease and locally produced January disease vaccine doses has begun,” he said.
President Mnangagwa commended the increased number of young people undertaking thriving farming businesses throughout the country.
“This new crop of young farmers assures us that the land which we fought for, will remain in safe hands, for prosperity,” he said.