By Gretinah Machingura HARARE (Xinhua)
-- He is a man on a mission, one of
transforming Zimbabwe into a prosperous nation where citizens
thrive and enjoy a better life.
To achieve that, the
new President of Zimbabwe Emmerson Mnangagwa has vowed to
resuscitate the comatose economy through stamping out
corruption, open the country to foreign investment and inculcate
a new culture of hard work among Zimbabweans.
He has also promised
to be frugal with public finances, ensuring that more money is
channeled into production as opposed to consumption.
In the one month he
has been in office, he has already taken some corrective
measures to position the economy for a quick takeoff.
Mnangagwa, 75, took
over last month from former President Robert Mugabe who resigned
after military and public pressure.
after a 37-year reign ushered in Mnangagwa’s administration
which has raised the hopes of many Zimbabweans who had endured
two decades of economic hardships under Mugabe’s rule.
“We are hoping for a
better life under Mnangagwa’s leadership. He must remove all
polices that scared away foreign investors. He must prioritize
revamping the agriculture sector because our economy is
agriculture-based. Once this sector booms, the economy will also
boom,” said Harare vendor Cleopas Chirumuuta.
In his inaugural
address on Nov. 24, Mnangagwa exhorted the nation to put
differences aside and expend energies towards national building.
He said his
government would strive to create a conducive environment for
investors and ensure economic growth.
“Our economic policy
will be predicated on our agriculture which is the mainstay, and
on creating conditions for an investment-led economic recovery
that puts premium on job creation,” the president said in his
Economic revival and
job creation have become his mantra, as the president reckons
the mammoth task his government faces, including jobs for the
unemployed youths, housing, better health and education
Mugaga of the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce said
Mnangagwa had the enormous task of rising above factional party
politics and steering the nation out of its present quagmire to
growth and prosperity.
“The president must
rise above factional politics. We expect him to deliver and put
Zimbabwe first. He must tackle economic challenges and the
liquidity crisis head on, fight corruption even in his inner
circle and create jobs. Unemployment is a big challenge in this
country and he must address it,” Mugaga said.
Through the 2018
national budget presented early this month, Mnangagwa scrapped
the controversial indigenization and economic empowerment law
which had alienated investors.
The 2008 law, which
limited foreign shareholding to 49 percent, now only applies to
two minerals: diamond and platinum.
“The 51/49 threshold
will not apply to the rest of the extractive sector, nor will it
apply to the other sectors of the economy, which will be open to
any investor regardless of nationality,” finance minister
Patrick Chinamasa said in the 2018 budget statement.
The bold move by
Mnangagwa’s administration to amend the legislation has been
applauded by Zimbabweans who feel it is the right move to help
the country build public confidence and lure foreign investment.
commentator Godfrey Kanyenze said the president needed to build
confidence among all stakeholders in the country given the
polarization in the country.
“The president needs
to deal with the issue of confidence among all stakeholders
given a lot of disagreements, suspicion and lack of trust in
terms of what he can deliver.
“The president needs
to reach out to all stakeholders including business, labor and
civil society. He must bring all these stakeholders to a
discussion table, a national dialogue so that they come to a
consensus on the need to subordinate sectoral interests to
greater national interest.” Kanyenze said.
As a country that
has had a bad record in terms of respect for private property
rights, Mnangagwa in his inaugural speech has promised to
compensate former white farmers whose land was taken by
government during the land reform program for redistribution to
the landless blacks.
“My government is
committed to compensating those white farmers from whom land was
taken, in terms of the laws of the land,” Mnangagwa said, even
though he said the principle of land repossession was
administration has made it clear that it will not countenance
illegal occupation of farms and has ordered illegal settlers to
Perence Shiri last week issued a warning to illegal settlers,
emphasizing the need for stability on farms to ensure the
success of agriculture.
One white farmer who
had been evicted from his farm in June returned to his farm last
Thursday in jubilant scenes after his case was initially taken
up by Mnangagwa when he was still the Vice President of
The president has
also talked tough on fighting corruption, and has vowed that
“there will be no sacred cows” in the fight against the vice.
Several high ranking
officials have been arrested on corruption charges, including
ex-government ministers Ignatius Chombo, Walter Chidhakwa,
Joseph Made and Jason Machaya. It is reported that many more
public and private officials will be brought to book over their
involvement in corrupt activities.
The country’s police
that had become unpopular for its corrupt tendencies, especially
asking for bribes from motorists, have also been ordered to
reform to regain public trust and confidence.
acting commissioner general of Zimbabwe Republic Police, said
the police will reform their policing including reducing the
number of road blocks and work to become people centered.
“Indeed, we are
going to roll out a battery of measures to improve our ways of
doing business in order to connect with the people. As a
disciplined police service, we know our limits and the need to
strictly abide by the police code of conduct,” Matanga said
The president is
also intent on implementing vast reforms in government including
cutting government expenditure to address the issue of
unsustainable budget deficits.
has already fired some 4,000 redundant youths and will from 2018
retire all civil servants above the age of 65 and maintain a
freeze on recruitment of non-critical staff.
The government said
these and other cost cutting measures would reduce its wage bill
from the current 86 percent of total revenue to 70 percent in
Some of the
austerity measures announced in the 2018 budget include a slash
on official foreign travel, ban on first class travel for
officials except the presidium, reduction of benefits to senior
government officials, among them fuel allocation.
The new president is
also introducing a new work ethic in government with the
hallmarks of diligence, honesty and discipline.
He has been
exemplary so far, reporting for duty earlier than usual and even
working during weekends and holidays. This is contrary to his
predecessor Mugabe who had slowed down in his later years of the
presidency due to advanced age.
Mnangagwa has so far
undertaken a single foreign trip to neighboring South Africa to
woo investors and many Zimbabweans are hoping he will not have a
penchant for excessive travel like his predecessor.
With a full cabinet
now assembled, Zimbabweans have high expectations that the
government will address the cash crisis gripping the nation as a
matter of urgency.
“One of the most
critical issues that the president must address is the cash
crisis. We have struggled for too long with this challenge and
he must resolve this problem urgently,” said Amos Shumba, an
Shylet Mukonyo, a
70-year-old grandmother in rural Mahusekwa, said she wanted the
president to fix the economy and create jobs.
“It has been sad for
me watching my grandchildren loaf around in the village without
anything to do. The president must create jobs for the young
people so they can have their own lives,” she said.
Zimbabwe gazettes Robert Mugabe
HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) --
Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa
has gazetted retirement benefits for a former head of state and
Robert Mugabe, who was ousted through a military intervention
last month, will be the first beneficiary.
Among others, Mugabe
is entitled to a fully-furnished official residence at any place
in Harare and to a housing allowance to be determined by the
sitting President or a single private residence acquired or
constructed on his or her behalf at any place of his or her
choice in Zimbabwe or payment of a lump sum equal to the value
of the private residence.
With respect to the
private residence, the property shall be constructed on land
which in total may not exceed 5,000 square meters. The
residence, if it was to be built, should not exceed a reasonably
sized house with five bedrooms, a guest wing with three
bedrooms, a study, swimming pool, two guard rooms and two
“There shall be
employed in connection with the residence of the former
President (i) three domestic employees and (ii) two gardeners,
and (iii) two cooks and two waiters and (iv) two laundry
persons,” reads part of the gazette notice.
Mugabe, his spouse
and any dependent child will also receive an allowance for their
medical aid contributions.
The former president
and his spouse will be entitled to a diplomatic passport, first
class air and rail private travel within the country up to a
maximum of four trips per year.
He is also entitled
to international air private travel up to a maximum of four
trips per year including the spouse if he or she accompanies the
Mugabe resigned last
month following pressure from the military and the public. He
has not been seen in public in Zimbabwe since his resignation.
Zimbabwe vice presidents
Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi sworn in
HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) --
Retired army boss Constantino Chiwenga and
veteran politician Kembo Mohadi were on Thursday sworn in as
Zimbabwe’s co-vice presidents.
The two were sworn
in by Chief Justice Luke Malaba at a ceremony at State House
following their appointment by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
took over from former president Robert Mugabe last month and has
vowed to resuscitate the economy, fight corruption and create
jobs for the people.
Chiwenga led the
military intervention that led to the resignation of Mugabe last
month, and is among military leaders that have been appointed
into government positions by Mnangagwa.
Others are former
air force chief Perrence Shiri who is now lands and agriculture
minister and retired major general Sibusiso Moyo, now foreign