Africa Moyo-Deputy News Editor
There are calls to allow President Mnangagwa to preside over the management of the country’s affairs for five more years to finish various projects he started.
A hashtag, #FiveMoreYears, is now trending on social media.
Neutrals say there is need to maintain the present economic growth trajectory and the infrastructure development projects that include construction of roads, schools, clinics and hospitals, dams, revival of irrigation schemes and provision of potable water even in rural areas. Roads that were impassable for years are being reopened, while irrigation schemes that had collapsed over 20 years ago, and new ones, are being rehabilitated.
In terms of agriculture, farming inputs are getting to farmers on time and in the 2020/2021 summer cropping season, a bumper harvest of 2,7 million tonnes is expected.
Farmers are still sending their maize to Grain Marketing Board depots across the country while in terms of wheat supply, Zimbabwe achieved wheat self-sufficiency last season after producing enough for nine months, for the first time since 2005 as Government is implementing the Agriculture Recovery Plan in line with Vision 2030.
Permanent Secretary for Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Mr Nick Mangwana, says the President deserves another five years.
“Reasons for #FiveMoreYears are very clear. He needs to finish what he started,” he tweeted.
Mr Mangwana’s remarks followed indications by Innscor Africa Limited, which is Zimbabwe’s biggest consumer goods producer that its annual volume sales rose considerably, with the bakery division jumping 36 percent, National Foods 15 percent, Irvine’s eggs hitting a record high sales of 8 percent, Colcom 34 percent, groceries (rice and salt) 74 percent, stock feed 33 percent, chicken 21 percent and day old chicks 29 percent.
So big is the demand for day old chicks that many people are struggling to get them, especially ahead of Christmas.
Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Sekai Nzenza told The Herald that it was important for President Mnangagwa to continue as he launched the national blueprint, the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) and gave industry the mandate to move up the value chains from 2021 to 2025.
“The Ministry of Industry and Commerce has developed strategies to implement strategies in leather, pharmaceutical, steel, soya, cotton, motor vehicle and other sectors.
“The President has visited several companies and witnessed the increased productivity, retooling and creation of jobs,” said Dr Nzenza.
Pan-African Chamber of Commerce board member Mr Langton Mabhanga said it was important that President Mnangagwa continued to fulfil his Vision of an upper middle income economy by 2030.
“A vision is not as short as a political plebiscite season of five years.”
“This country is a young nation that has been taken in a defined and specific direction espoused by a vision for the first time,” said Mr Mabhanga.
“President Mnangagwa, the founding father of the Second Republic, pioneered Vision 2030 and it will be both strategic and institutionally prudent to allow the strategy journey to be traversed by the visionary and author.
“All nations that transformed their economies, did the same as General Park in South Korea, Lee Kuwan Yew and Deng Xi Ping in China. Vision 2030 is more than partisan, it’s cross-cutting, it is national and to some extent international, if placed in the context of the international transactional diplomacy unleashed by Vision 2030.”
Mr Mabhanga said within Vision 2030, Zimbabwe is open for Business, import substitution, the National Economic Competitiveness, smart agriculture with productivity and beneficiation thrusts, were birthed.
He added that infrastructure renewal and construction have been initiated without external borrowings.
“Development does not happen by default. It is conceptualised and such is what Vision 2030 has done as President Mnangagwa seeks to deliver upper middle income dignity on the people of Zimbabwe.
“A stabilised currency and inflation in an economy is not magical. It takes a leadership and we all need to rally behind President Mnangagwa and Vision 2030 for the greater good of Zimbabwe. Away from our political biases, we can lend positive support to nation building and it is the time.
“Unifying political protagonists under POLAD and championing political reforms all are part of transforming a nation that require the time variable,” said Mr Mabhanga.
Economists Mr Persistence Gwanyanya said it is “only fair to give credit where it is due”.
“We have so far made significant economic progress under the leadership of President Mnangagwa. When he come into power in 2017, the country was going through rapid economic decay,” he said.
“We were literally pushed out of dollarisation and currency volatility had reached crisis level, with bond notes in free fall. The people had lost hope.
“But upon assuming office in 2017, the President immediately implemented measures to stop the bleeding and put back the economy on course. He rallied people behind the economic rebuilding agenda, which he led diligently and we are beginning to see the results.”
Mr Gwanyanya said progress has far been registered on economic recovery, macro-economic stability and infrastructure development.
He added that because Zimbabwe’s challenges have become permanent and structural in nature, they cannot be permanently solved through short-term intentions.
“The President should be highly complemented for realising the need to take such an economy through the reform journey in 2018, under Vision 2030.
“The sequencing and prioritisation of Vision 2030 deliverables just demonstrates the greatness of this vision. Under the Transitional Stabilisation Program (Oct 2018-Dec 2020), which was the first part of Vision 2030, we made significant progress regarding restoration of stability.
“Supporting this stability is a significant progress towards fiscal rebalancing, which can only happen with support of the President. Without political support, rationalisation of Government expenditure is very difficult,” he said.
Mr Gwanyanya said after getting the foundations of stability right, it is imperative that Zimbabwe builds fundamentals to support this stability and grow the economy, which is what the NDS1 is all about.
He said Zimbabwe has so far done well under NDS1, with the economy now expected to grow by 7,8 percent this year, with growth expected to average 5 percent in the rest of NDS period.
“Given the progress made so far, it’s only fair to give credit to President Mnangagwa for his visionary leadership and support. It’s also fair to suggest that he needs more time to finish what he has started. By nature, reforms take time, they cannot be accomplished over a short period of time,” said Mr Gwanyanya.