We’re open to constructive criticism, says President

01 Dec, 2023 - 00:12 0 Views
We’re open to constructive criticism, says President President Mnangagwa

The ManicaPost



Ray Bande
Senior Reporter 

GOVERNMENT has invited the private sector to work hand-in-glove with them to spur economic development for the benefit of the nation.

In a speech read on his behalf at the Zimbabwe Institution of Strategic Thinking (ZIST) Annual Conference in Nyanga on Wedesday, President Mnangagwa, who was represented by Vice President Kembo Mohadi, said his Government was always open to constructive criticism.

“We do not want to see antagonistic criticism. What we want is constructive criticism. As Government, we take note and appreciate that there are other institutions such as ZIST, who are prepared to critically review and audit national programmes and policies.

“Let us move together. We need to engage so that we build the confidence to work together. It should not be them and us, but it should be us altogether moving in one direction.

“In fact, Vision 2030, as a blueprint, is not for Government alone. Everyone here who can assist in achieving what we have set for ourselves to achieve.

“ln East Africa, the principles of Harambee means ‘let us move together’. Bring all the stakeholders together so that whatever achievement we achieve, we do so as a nation.

“I must surely express Government’s appreciation for such initiatives which provide platforms to speak about strategies to speed up processes to achieve national policies,” he said.

The President said food self-sufficiency is at the top of the Second Republic’s priorities.

“Zimbabwe has attained food self-sufficiency in the past three years and that is why the country was worried about the loss of lives in the Russia-Ukraine conflict while other nations were concerned about a sudden stoppage of food supplies.

“When we came into office as the Second Republic, we sat down and asked ourselves what the people of Zimbabwe really needed. Vision 2030 is what the nation wants.

“At the heart of Vision 2030 is the issue of food self-sufficiency. We achieved food self-sufficiency three years ago and we are happy with that achievement.

“We have not been importing grain for the past three years. Perhaps the sanctions we have been reeling under for the past two decades have helped us to think outside the box and work for our own survival,” he said.

President Mnangagwa commended ZIST and other like-minded institutions for brainstorming on solutions that can help the country grow its economy.

“Although they say the taste of the pudding is in the eating, I must say that from what I have seen and heard, this conference is valuable and worthwhile.

“For my generation, opportunities were not there. We had to create them until we managed to win the liberation war. In the same vein, you are gathered here. With the same idea of cross pollination of ideas, you will win the third war of liberation, which is that of economic emancipation,” he said.

President Mnangagwa said colonialism is now wearing a new face.

“When McMillan, the former Prime Minister of United Kingdom, pronounced that winds of change were blowing from North to South in Africa, he meant the days of colonialism were coming to an end around the 1960s.

“But let me hasten to say colonialism hasn’t gone yet. Let me give you some bit of a background. Before colonialism, there was the slave trade. All the countries in Europe built whatever they have using forced labour from Africa.

“When slavery was abolished, they still wanted our resources. This time around, they no longer wanted the human resources but our minerals and other resources.

“This is when they partitioned Africa and ushered in colonialism. Without Africa, Europe will not survive.

“After colonialism ended, they sat down to think about what to do to remain where they are. They came up with institutions to ensure that Africa remains poor. The Bretton Woods Institutions were created for every African country to go and borrow money.

“If you go and get money from the Bretton Woods Institutions, you remain shackled for the rest of your life. Most of the time when you ask for aid, you are told how and where to use it,” he said.

The ZIST conference was attended by Government Ministers, senior Government officials, financial experts, heads of parastatals, chief executives, managing directors, educationists and policy makers from diverse professional backgrounds.

It seek to provide a platform for dialogue to stimulate the country’s economic growth.


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