BY MOSES MATENGA
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday said Zimbabwe had faced many challenges, including the economic crisis, cyclones and the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic, but would not be deterred from pursuing its goals by “sideshows”.
In his first address to the nation after his annual leave that officially ended this week, Mnangagwa also called for the respect of other countries to achieve global peace.
“We can proudly say that we are a stronger nation, more united and peaceful. We have stood together in the midst of many challenges, from the economy, cyclones, droughts and now this pandemic,” he said.
“Let our spirits not be dampened or deterred by sideshows. We are writing our history and charting our own course. Success and realisation of the vision for economic growth, prosperity and modernisation for our people is on the horizon,” he said.
On the international relations front, he said: “Zimbabwe is committed to being a good neighbour to all and making a positive contribution within the community of nations for a better world.
“Guided by the ideals of the UN Charter, we will extend mutual respect to all nations. We expect the same from the other members of the global community as we together sustain democracy and a more peaceful world.”
Mnangagwa this week saw four of his aides slapped with sanctions by the United Kingdom government for their roles in the 2018 and 2019 killing of civilians.
He said his government had seen stability of the foreign exchange rate and the prices of goods and services.
“As a responsible and patriotic people, I urge all of us to persistently play our part in maintaining this stability,” he said, despite Simon Khaya Moyo, the Zanu PF spokesperson, on Wednesday expressing concern over rising prices.
On social services, Mnangagwa accused the MDC Alliance-dominated local authorities of failing to address the problems confronting councils.
“Government is, however, deeply concerned with the illegal expansive construction in wetlands and river basins and well as the construction of houses without the requisite infrastructure such as water, sewer infrastructure,”he said.
“The Ministry of Local Government must urgently identify the affected households and land. EMA [Environmental Management Agency] should identify and designate all wetlands around the country as unsuitable spaces for human settlement. The current local urban authorities have failed the nation.”
He added: “I urge us all to remain resolute and hopeful. The anxieties will surely end. Zimbabwe is rising; together we will cross the finish line and achieve vision 2030. For now, we must carry on looking after each other, protecting the vulnerable and protecting our loved ones.”