The Sunday Mail
Farirai Machivenyika in Zvishavane
The future is bright after the 2018 elections renewed the confidence of global powerhouses like China and the European Union in Zimbabwe, with the international community ready to assist the socio-economic transformation agenda, President Mnangagwa has said.
President Mnangagwa said this yesterday to hundreds of people gathered at his Mapanzure rural home to celebrate his Presidential election victory.
He said the endorsement of the elections by democratic institutions such as Sadc, the African Union and the EU was a milestone in Zimbabwe’s quest to engage and re-engage the international community, and opened avenues for economic co-operation.
President Mnangagwa said, “We had our elections where we invited observers from Sadc, the AU, the EU and other countries. The observers have commended the manner we conducted our elections.
“France and Germany have sent ministers to congratulate us and they indicated that they want to work with us. This shows that where we are going, we will have a bright future as our country develops.”
The Head of State and Government also said: “After the inauguration we went to China with other African leaders for the Focac (Forum on China-Africa Co-operation) meeting.
“The Chinese gave Africa $60 billion meant for infrastructure development and we hope to benefit from that fund. I also had a meeting with Chinese President Xi Xinping and we agreed on a number of issues, but they are not for public consumption.”
President Mnangagwa said the elections showed how much his administration had nurtured democratic space.
“Our elections were peaceful, everyone got the opportunity to campaign,” he said. “In the past we used to have four or five parties contesting, but because of the open democratic space, there were over 133 registered parties and 55 contested the elections, with 23 of those also contesting the Presidential election. And you elected me to be President for the next five years and I thank you for that.”
The President reiterated his call for the country to remain peaceful and united, emphasising that this was necessary for development.
He said agricultural mechanisation and irrigation were key to food security; and that his Government was targeting gold production to rise from the anticipated record of 30 tonnes in 2018 to a new high of 100 tonnes in three years.
“What we are saying is that Zimbabwe should leapfrog and catch up with other developing countries but in doing so we don’t want corruption,” he said. “We will fight corruption without fear and favour; we will fight corruption wherever it rears its ugly head.”
President Mnangagwa said following his announcement of his Cabinet line-up, he would next reassign some former ministers to the ruling Zanu-PF’s party headquarters.
“Some of you are asking what happened to the usual faces that you have been used to seeing in Cabinet,” said the President. “We are going to explain this coming week how we are going to deploy those who did not make it Cabinet. We want some of them to work full-time for the party.”
He also said the Herbert Chitepo Ideological College, headed by Cde Munyaradzi Machacha, would be enhanced by the appointment of a board.
“We want to strengthen the party so that it remains supreme and gives direction to Government,” he explained.
President Mnangagwa scoffed at private media reports of bad blood between him and Vice-President Dr Constantino Chiwenga.
“Those who say hatiwirirane misoro yavo. Ndozvavanoshuvira asi hakuna zvakadaro,” he said.
Meanwhile the President Mnangagwa donated an ambulance to Dambudzo Clinic.