‘A brighter future depends on us all’… ED tells Zimbabwe as government battles tough economy

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PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday made an impassioned call to all Zimbabweans to set aside their political differences and work together to build the country, the Daily News reports.
At the same time, the 78-year-old Zanu PF leader proposed a raft of new legal instruments to deal with Zimbabwe’s detractors and to stem child abuse.

All this comes as Zimbabwe is beginning to enjoy relative economic stability, following the recent implementation of a basket of measures — including the introduction of the foreign currency auction system in June, which has reined in the once rampant forex parallel market.

Delivering his State of the Nation Address (Sona), while also officially opening the second session of the Ninth Parliament at State House in Harare, Mnangagwa said the country’s current economic stability needed unity among Zimbabweans to steer the nation towards much-needed economic prosperity.

“First and foremost we are Zimbabweans. This is our only home, our motherland. We are on a new path towards a modern, prosperous and stronger Zimbabwe.

“I encourage you all to be partners in this journey. Let us be decisive, deliberate, purposeful and thorough in all our actions.

Finance minister Mthuli Ncube

“A brighter future depends on all of us. We are stronger when we work together and believe, and work hard to achieve our plans and vision, no matter the challenges and obstacles — whether natural or manmade.

“Let us seek to promote our national interest in unity and love for the development and prosperity of our beloved country,”

Mnangagwa said during his virtual address which was necessitated by the current coronavirus pandemic.
“Our Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) has delivered and there are causes for optimism.

“My government is indeed encouraged by the current economic stability, evident since the launch of the foreign exchange auction system in June.

“The system has resulted in the stability of the foreign exchange rate, as well as the prices of our goods and services,” Mnangagwa further told the nation.

He said inspite of the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the country’s exports had increased to US$1,96 billion — from US$1,86 billion in the first half of the year, while imports had declined from US$1,96 billion to US$1,84 billion during the same period.

This comes as there is a measure of optimism among long-suffering ordinary people and businesses that the current stability being enjoyed in the economy will endure.

Recently, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor John Mangudya said that the current stability in the prices of goods and services in the country would continue into next year.

In an economic update following a meeting of the monetary policy committee (MPC), Mangudya also said the availability of more foreign currency on the forex auction system would guarantee the timely importation of raw materials by business — which historically have struggled at this time of the year to raise funds for the
country’s import needs.

“The MPC expects price stability to continue prevailing in the economy during the last quarter of this year mainly on account of the improved operating business environment brought about by the foreign auction system.

“With 16 auctions having been conducted to date, and a total amount of US$291 million having been allotted, the MPC is pleased that the foreign exchange auction has also managed to improve the much
needed availability of foreign exchange,” he said.

The central bank boss also revealed that authorities had approved an additional funding of $2,5 billion, to allow industry to increase production — in a move that is expected to see the country continuing to
reduce its imports.

Finance minister Mthuli Ncube also said recently that the economy would perform better than expected this year, as it had not been severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic as had been originally forecast.

All this comes as the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has commended the ongoing efforts by authorities to stabilise the country’s currency and economy.

Turning to, and setting the legislative agenda, Mnangagwa said his government was concerned about the conduct of some non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

“This august house will, therefore, consider the Private Voluntary Organisations (PVOs) Amendment Bill to revamp
the administration of NGOs and PVOs to correct the current anomalies,” Mnangagwa revealed.

The government has also previously accused some CSOs of seeking to topple the government by working with forces hostile to Harare.

Mnangagwa also revealed yesterday that a new law would soon be passed in Parliament to protect children, following an upsurge in heinous crimes against minors.

“The prevalence of abuse and violence against children places a demand on us to quickly guarantee their protection. As such, the Children’s Amendment Bill must be quickly passed by this august house.

“Our criminal justice system is urged to impose deterrent sentences to perpetrators of heinous evil acts against our children,” he said.

This comes as the country is still trying to come to terms with the recent gruesome beheading of a seven-year-old Murewa boy, Tapiwa Makore.

Mnangagwa also called on Parliament to speed up the processing of a number of Bills to further lift economic growth.

“I, therefore, call upon this session of the ninth Parliament to expedite the completion of processes with regard to all outstanding bills, the enactment of which will have to deepen the ongoing economic reforms as well as entrench constitutionalism and our democratic culture,” he said.

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