President Mnangagwa lays out ambitious political, economic vision
Harare – President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Friday laid out his vision for the ruling Zanu PF party and government, with economic transformation topping his agenda, and appealed for support to realise the vision.
In an acceptance speech after being appointed substantive ruling Zanu PF party President and First Secretary at its extraordinary congresss, President Mnangagwa said one of the immediate tasks his government sought to undertake was reviving the ailing economy, leveraging on agriculture and the country’s vast natural resources, particularly minerals.
“The task at hand is that of rebuilding our great country, we have to leave no stone unturned to fully exploit the country’s rich resource base for the benefit of all our people, and improve the livelihoods of all who call Zimbabwe their home,” he said.
“I beseech you comrades to keep those sturdy and supporting hands on me as I assume this onerous role of leading this revolutionary party, I appeal for your continued honest and frank counsel as we chart a new trajectory in our party and government.”
President Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe would intensify efforts to increase local value addition and beneficiation and industrialisation, which will in turn help job creation.
He said industrial productivity was expected to increase in the immediate future as the country was expecting various financing facilities from multilateral and bilateral organisations, while the accelerated implementation of the Special Economic Zones was also expected to attract new investment.
These initiatives, he said, demonstrated that the country had begun a new journey towards economic revival and growth.
“On my part I assure you that these are not pipe dreams, government will move to ensure that all agreed programs become reality in the shortest possible period. You can ask the current crop of Ministers whether it is business as usual, it has changed.”
He said other tasks his new government was seized with included stamping out corruption which had become rampant under the previous administration, and ending the current cash shortages.
He said government would also give due attention to the social services sectors such as health and education, and rehabilitation of the road infrastructure, to name but a few.
“Let us give our new economic era a chance; we can achieve this by working together and putting our nation first,” he said.
On housing delivery, he said government had already concluded arrangements for the construction of nearly 400 000 houses across the country before elections next year.
To party members, he said discipline was paramount with every member tasked to work towards building a robust party in view of looming elections.
He said factionalism should never be allowed to flourish again as it had in the recent past.
“In the recent past, the party and its prominent members have at times demonstrated extravagance and wastefulness not befitting a revolutionary movement, No more. In this new era we will be a humble and frugal institution.
“We have a crucial year ahead of us with two main goals, we must again win the support and trust of the Zimbabwean people in the 2018 harmonised elections so that they elect us for another five years and we must resurrect the economy to deliver the real gains for each and every citizen of this great nation, these two tasks are inter-connected.”
He said every member had an essential role to play in shaping the destiny of the party and country at large.
“We are bound and inter-woven inextricably by the threads of our party constitution, by individual and collective duties therein stated, let us vow from today to uphold, respect and defend our party constitution for it binds us, unites us and defines us, let us protect it at all costs,” said President Mnangagwa.
Meanwhile, President Mnangagwa, who was also unanimously elected the party’s presidential candidate in next year’s general elections, thanked party members for choosing him to lead the party.
“Thank you for finding me worthy of your trust, worth to be the leader and servant of this colossal and great party Zanu PF,” he said.
“Let us be mindful that Zanu PF is not the party of its leader but the party of its members, it is a party for all of us, as your President and First Secretary, I am the first among equals.”
President Mnangagwa was thrust into the leadership role by the party’s special central committee held mid-last month following the recall of former leader, President Robert Mugabe.
The central committee is the party’s highest decision making body outside of congress and resultantly, its decisions still required the ratification of the extra-ordinary congress.