ZIMBABWEANS should prime themselves for a transformative and rapid economic recovery programme anchored on Government-led support and innovativeness, President Mnangagwa has said.
Delivering a televised 40th Independence Day message at State House on Friday, the President declared the beginning of a “Decade of Action” to transform Zimbabwe into an upper middle-income economy by 2030.
Vision 2030, vowed the President, remains on track in spite of the disruptive nature of the coronavirus pandemic, and achievement of its goals will be accelerated.
In an address themed around recovery, the Head of State said Covid-19 and its attendant maladies had awakened national creativity and inventiveness, which will carry the country through and beyond the disaster.
“Beyond grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic, we have to keep our economy functional,” said the President.
“Unavoidable shocks and disruptions must be mitigated. Once the lockdown is over, we must all get back to work, with discipline and harder effort as we ready ourselves for a speedy economic recovery. The silver lining to the present global health crisis is the awakening of our national creativity and inventiveness.”
The President called for a decade of ambitious action to deliver an upper middle-income economy by 2030. The “Decade of Action” is a United Nations theme that calls for accelerating sustainable solutions to challenges ranging from poverty and gender inequality to climate change.
“Independence is about determining our own fate and choosing to take our destiny into our hands. We are now a 40-year-old democracy; a mature nation. As we begin this important ‘Decade of Action’, may we never lose focus of the bigger vision, to develop and modernise Zimbabwe towards an upper middle-income economy by 2030.
“I, therefore, urge you all listening and watching, to join me in seizing the moment with fighting spirit, as gallant and fearless warriors; towards a prosperous future. Through us, individually and collectively, the vision, hopes, dreams and aspirations of those who lifted our flag and celebrated that 1st Independence Day 40 years ago, must remain alive!”
He said Government will continue to provide social safety nets for underprivileged Zimbabweans being affected by the economic challenges facing the country.
Government, said the President, remains committed to the reform agenda and the promotion of peaceful co-existence between Zimbabweans of all races, social standing and political affiliations.
He reiterated his abhorrence for corruption saying it will not be tolerated.
“The Second Republic is a republic of rights, of peace, love, harmony, dialogue and of inclusive development which leaves no one behind. In addition, democratic principles, accountability, good governance, the rule of law and constitutionalism, which the gallant heroes of our country fought for, must be consolidated and entrenched.
“As a society, let us always uphold and defend our culture, high moral standards, ethics and norms. Corruption has no place in the Zimbabwe we all want.”
Zimbabwe, said President Mnangagwa, had grown into a united and non-racial society over the last 40 years. He said while Zimbabwe continues to seek new friendships and partnerships, established alliances continue to be bolstered.
“The culture of reconciliation remains a fundamental foundation for national unity and racial harmony. Consequently, our socio-economic stature since independence in 1980, has been greatly transformed.
“From a racially divided society, riddled with inequities; we have become a united, non-racial society where our citizens mix and mingle without any regard to colour, creed, tribe or region.”
President Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe, on the international relations front, remains committed to the engagement and re-engagement policy.
“Forty years later, Zimbabwe continues to make new friends, while deepening relations with old, established allies and friends.”
The President said Zimbabwe does not deserve the illegal economic sanctions imposed on the country as they continue to harm ordinary people’s lives.
He, however, thanked the European Union for softening the illegal embargo, calling on the US to follow suit.
“Our situation is compounded by the continuing illegal economic sanctions, which we have endured for close to half of our years of independence. These sanctions have limited our options and constricted our possibilities of freely interacting in the global economy.
“I thank the European Union for softening its stance towards us. I implore Washington to promptly lift these illegal sanctions against us without any preconditions. They are illegal and hurtful to our people; Zimbabwe does not deserve them.”