2023 Cabinet agenda outlined
Rumbidzayi Zinyuke-Senior Reporter
Cabinet this year will have the onerous task of balancing the socio-economic development of the country and the upcoming harmonised elections to ensure continuity of the gains made by the Second Republic so far, President Mnangagwa has said.
Outlining the Executive’s agenda at the official opening of the first session of the 2023 Cabinet, the President highlighted the areas that needed consolidation during the year, saying the collective ability to implement policies, programmes and projects to their finality remained critical.
“The onus is on us to finish this current term stronger with a greater sense of urgency. Additionally, we must be more strategic and purposeful in the manner we communicate the extent to which we have fulfilled our promises to the people. 2023 will be extremely busy as we combine socio-economic development with the upcoming Harmonised General Elections. The elections entrench our democratic tradition, constitutionalism and the rule of law, while guaranteeing sovereignty, our independence and sovereignty,” he said.
“The economic stabilisation measures pronounced by our Government will continue to be enhanced as we accelerate progress on economic development and growth. We should strive to enhance employment and empowerment opportunities through maximising benefits from our abundant resource endowments.”
On the 2022/2023 agriculture season, President Mnangagwa said there was hope for a higher yield for most crops which would be complemented by the recently announced new producer prices that support the viability of farmers.
He said the erratic rains in some parts of the country was proof that the country needed to scale up its climate-proofing initiatives and implement projects that enhance water harvesting and irrigation capacity.
“Our country has an obligation to fully utilise agriculture mechanisation to increase agriculture productivity to feed ourselves as well as to meet set targets to end hunger in the SADC region and on the continent.
“In this regard, the resolve expressed by the current crop of African leaders at the Feed Africa Summit held in Dakar, Senegal, which I attended recently, must also give impetus to our internal strategies to realise both food security and food sovereignty,” he added.
He alluded to the recent State visit by the Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko and subsequent launch of Phase 2 of the Belarus Mechanisation Programme which he said must translate into increased production and productivity across the agriculture sector.
President Mnangagwa said infrastructure development was also critical, particularly the accelerated infrastructure provision to previously marginalised communities.
He said the Chirundu and Forbes Border Posts modernisation as well as Bulawayo Kraal, Tugwi-Mukosi and Kanyemba master plans required visible implementation.
“Innovative strategies are essential for ministries, departments and agencies to overcome hurdles they may encounter as they execute their mandates. We remain seized with the need to address the provision of critical economic enablers, particularly energy and power development.
“In this regard the recent incentives by the Government should strengthen collaboration to ensure success in the implementation of projects that yield rapid results,” he said.
“Our bureaucracy in the energy and power sub-sectors must facilitate progress to enable us to deliver the required power supplies to agriculture, industry, mining, manufacturing, tourism and commerce as well as social sectors.”
The President lamented the scourge of drugs and dangerous substances that are finding their way into the country and taking their toll on the young population.
He said there was an urgent need for the country’s ports of entry to be sealed to cut off the supply chain of these substances. He also called for collaboration among stakeholders beginning at the family and community levels while at Government level, efforts must be heightened to increase surveillance and place the Joint Operations Command at the forefront under the existing Task Force.
President Mnangagwa said the education system and key stakeholders across various sectors should concertedly work to increase understanding and capacities around emerging areas within the ongoing economic development spectrum.
“All our institutions are directed to work together to combat the scourge of corruption. Unorthodox means and name-dropping to gain access to our resources will never be tolerated. As such, all patriotic institutions and office bearers must remain vigilant and always act in the interest of the people of Zimbabwe. The law must take its course to entrench transparency and accountability necessary for building a healthy investment climate,” he said.
He said 2023 should see renewed impetus on consolidating the gains from the re-engagement and engagement foreign policy thrust.
The President said the Government was cognisant of the complementary role played by development partners, civil society organisations and non-governmental organisations in supporting Government programmes.
“As they do so, they must observe the rule of law and act within the laws of our country. Recently, bold steps were taken to enforce the law. Non-compliant entities and those that have deviated from their original approved mandates risk de-registration. No entity is above the law,” he said.
With regards to the Parliament, President Mnangagwa said where ratification was required during the fifth and final session ahead of the plebiscite, the Leader of Government Business in Parliament was expected to expedite the necessary processes in liaison with the relevant line ministries, departments and agencies.