Government reassures hurting citizens…says things will get better, economy will continue to improve
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa, says the lives of long-suffering Zimbabweans are set to improve further on the back of a stabilising economy and steadying prices of goods, the Daily News reports.
Mnangagwa said this yesterday while launching the country’s new economic blueprint — the National Development
Strategy (NDS1) — which succeeds the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP).
He also said it was time for Zimbabweans to roll up their sleeves and work together to end the country’s long running economic challenges.
This comes as the country is beginning to enjoy relative economic stability, following the recent implementation of a raft of measures — including the introduction of the foreign currency auction system in June, which has reined in
the hitherto rampant forex parallel market.
As a result, prices of basic goods and services have been stabilising after a bout of steep increases fuelled by the collapse of the local currency then, against the US dollar.
Mnangagwa said yesterday that NDS1, which starts in January next year until 2025, would allow the nation to build on the achievements and lessons of the TSP — which was launched in October 2018, and ends next month.
“The TSP has undoubtedly delivered notable critical successes and set a firm foundation upon which we can build and achieve our objectives as laid out in the NDS1.
“In view of the above, the NDS1 will, therefore, be rolled out under better economic conditions than the TSP and carries with it bold strategies and policies to catapult the economy.
“Through the implementation of the NDS1, we therefore envision inclusive development, an improved quality of life for our people and shared prosperity.
“Our country must equally emerge from the strategic period more competitive with diverse and vibrant trade relations and investments,” Mnangagwa said.
“The successful implementation of NDS1 is not for the government alone. It requires the commitment, and the dedication of all Zimbabweans across the socio-economic and political spectrum.
“The launch of this strategy is, therefore, a clarion call to all Zimbabweans to roll up their sleeves and prepare to work for the successful implementation of NDS1. “The NDS1 is set to perpetuate our character as a united, peaceful, stable and unitary state. The entrenchment of democracy, constitutionalism, justice and the rule of law
will be enhanced.
“The NDS1 will also seek to improve on public sector transparency, accountability, quality service delivery and disaster risk management. The strategy gives impetus to the eradication of corruption,” Mnangagwa also said.
The 78-year-old Zimbabwean leader said the new economic blueprint, which is premised on four guiding principles, was the country’s first five-year medium-term plan — aimed at realising Vision 2030, while simultaneously addressing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Africa Agenda 2063.
“The Second Republic is about production, productivity and action. Hence, the implementation and realisation of the NDS1 targets will be closely monitored and evaluated through appropriate frameworks,” he added.
Meanwhile, Finance minister Mthuli Ncube said the new economic blueprint was poised to take the country’s damaged economy back to its former growth state.
“The overarching goal of NDS1 is to ensure high, accelerated, inclusive and sustainable economic growth as well as socio-economic transformation and development as we move towards an upper middleincome society by 2030.
“As such, the NDS1 will build on the successes, while addressing challenges met during TSP. Special emphasis will be on the unfinished and ongoing efforts in the area of macroeconomic stability.
“Furthermore, NDS1 will endeavour to steer the economy onto a growth path to realise an average of 5 percent Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate per annum over the strategy period,” Ncube said in the blueprint preface.
“In pursuing economic growth, we remain alive to the challenges that Zimbabwe continues to face on
the external front.
“To this end, significant emphasis will be placed on mobilising internal sources of growth even as we continue to engage and reengage the international community and reach out to Zimbabweans in the diaspora.
“In order to give impetus to this strategy, NDS1 will intentionally commit resources towards building and capacitating key national institutions that play a critical role in providing the enabling environment for private sector investment to thrive,” Ncube said further.
“As we implement NDS1, the government will move with the … SDGs theme of ‘leaving no-one and no place behind’. In this regard, technical and financial support from both the private sector and development partners is welcome.
“To ensure smooth and effective implementation of NDS1, an all inclusive coordination and implementation architecture, supported by comprehensive communication strategy for NDS1 will be developed,” he added.
When Ncube unveiled the TSP in October 2018, the Treasury boss was heavily criticised for the blueprint — which saw him, among other things, introducing an unpopular two percent transaction tax, which critics said had worsened ordinary people’s economic hardships.
The TSP’s introduction also kicked in at a time that Zimbabwe began to experience its worst economic crisis in a decade, triggering steep prices of basic consumer goods — amid rising inflation, shortages of fuel and critical medicines