By Justin Mahlahla
President Emmerson Mnangagwa says his Administration is rolling out developmental programmes targeted at the youths and those in the diaspora, for them to be active participants in building the country’s economy.
He was speaking during an interactive meeting with the Kwekwe business community at Golden Mile Hotel Friday afternoon.
“I have to first and foremost say to ourselves, let us be patriotic about our country. No one has a duty to modernise and industrialise our country. Our land is the basis of our economic growth. We are putting enough programmes for the youths, they should learn to appreciate hard work,” he said.
He added, “During our time we only aimed to be teachers nurses etc, but we now have young scientists, young women. If we create conditions for young people to work in the country, they will come back from the diaspora to build their nation. We have our own Zimbabweans in the diaspora who are eager to come back and build the nation. Let’s focus on the things achieved and not cry over those we have not yet achieved.”
He said government must create a conducive environment where businesses must thrive thus Zimbabwe is open for business.
He said because Zimbabwe is an agricultural country, an agro-economy, it can only grow its economy and modernise by ensuring a vibrant agricultural sector, adding, “we need to have food security in the country, even though the entire globe is challenged by climate change. For us to mitigate the impact of climate change we have decided to provide enough food in our reserves. This season we now have enough wheat, which will last 13 months. This is how focused we are and able to resolved problems such as these.”
Commenting on errant banks which are being monitored by the central bank, President Mnangagwa said, “Banks are complaining about the 200% interest rate which is intended to cure certain misbehaviour/ malpractices. The moment we ordered banks to immediately stop all lending, we came across banks that were practising malpractices and out of the 16 banks, only four passed and the other 12 were deep in corruption.”
He said because the economy is growing faster, there is need to also expand power.
“When I came into power, President Xi Jinping gave me three things: first they built the Parliament building; second, they gave us money to expand the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International airport and lastly, they gave us US$1,2 billion for the expansion of Hwange Thermal Power Station 7 and 8 project in Matabeleland North province, which is almost complete and is set to impact positively on the wider economy. By March next year, we will have another 600MW.,” he explained.
He said there is a lot happening in terms of business and government will do everything it can to make way for those who want to do business.