Mnangagwa calls for help to resuscitate ailing economy
SENIOR STAFF WRITER
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has appealed to various stakeholders to participate in the development of a National Development Strategy in efforts to rebuild the ailing economy.
This comes as Zimbabwe is currently experiencing its worst economic crisis in a decade characterised by hyperinflation, cash, foreign currency and fuel shortages and soaring prices of basic goods and services.
Speaking during the Political Actors Dialogue (Polad) meeting at the State House in Harare yesterday, Mnangagwa said the stakeholders’ input was being sought in 14 identified clusters including economic growth and stability, food security and nutrition, social protection, digital economy, devolution, health and wellbeing, housing delivery, human capital development and image building and international re-engagement.
“Currently, stakeholder national level consultations are underway and should be concluded by mid-July. These will be followed by sectoral consultations which will be concluded by early August 2020. The process will culminate in the production of the National Development Strategy, which will guide the 2021 National budget.
“As such, let me invite you colleagues to input into the formulation of the National Development Strategy such that no one is left behind,” Mnangagwa said.
He further expressed concern over the country’s ballooning coronavirus (Covid-19) cases, saying his government would adopt stern measures to contain the spread of the disease.
This comes as Mnangagwa recently revealed that he would review the national lockdown measures, as the country’s confirmed cases have rapidly increased to 985, with 18 deaths and 328 recoveries, according to figures released on Sunday by the ministry of health.
“In the past week, there has been a spike in the number of Covid-19 cases and numbers of local transmission have also increased. However, all is being done to reduce the further spread of the disease. More tests are being carried out and the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines are being adopted with regard to the discharge of patients from quarantine centres across the country.
“Law enforcement agents have increased their vigilance with regard to the following; patrolling undesignated crossing points, enhancing security measures at quarantine centres to deter people from escaping and reporting any members of the public that return to communities without clearance from quarantine centres,” he said.
Mnangagwa further said that these stern measures were necessary to safeguard people’s lives, adding that valuable lessons had been drawn from countries, including Germany and Australia, where lockdowns were quickly lifted and were subsequently reconsidered amid increasing Covid-19 infections.
“In responding to the pandemic, corruption has reared its ugly head. We continue to investigate corrupt activities and take swift action whenever such cases arise. The global health emergency has revealed weaknesses relating to our health system that is, initially inability to handle the emergency due to inadequate equipment and medical supplies,” he said.
Meanwhile, the ad hoc inter-ministerial taskforce on Covid-19 resolved to erect temporary structures at ports of entry to house the rising number of returnees into the country.
According to the police, over 200 people have escaped from quarantine facilities across the country, some of whom had tested positive for Covid-19.
“As new information surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic is coming out, the government is adjusting its response and action plans in order to ensure that the country is taking the correct preventative and protective precautions to combat the virus.
“In light of the increased positive cases that are being recorded, efforts are being channelled to resource medical facilities that will deal with Covid-19 cases.
“As such, 13 foreign trained Zimbabwean doctors and members have been appointed and they are to assume duty starting from today, 13 July 2020,” Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa said.
Mutsvangwa further revealed that an Air Zimbabwe flight which was expected to repatriate Zimbabweans from Guangzhou and Wuhan Provinces in China developed a technical problem and was stuck in Bangkok, adding that a replacement engine had been airlifted to Thailand yesterday.