Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
CABINET’S commitment to duty and good performance posted a number of successes this year that will help the country achieve Vision 2030.
This was said by President Mnangagwa on Tuesday while addressing Cabinet to mark its last sitting for this year before ministers take a six-week recess.
A brief function was held for Cabinet ministers and members of the media to mark the end of post-Cabinet media briefings this year that have been a hallmark of the Second Republic led by President Mnangagwa.
President Mnangagwa chronicled the achievements that include the rehabilitation of infrastructure, especially Harare-Beitbridge Road, agriculture support programmes such as Pfumvudza and the US$75 Covid-19 allowance meant to cushion civil servants.
“As we end today’s Cabinet session, which is the last for the year 2020, it is imperative that we take stock of some of the achievements in our journey towards the attainment of Vision 2030. The year has recorded a number of successes, which would not have been possible without your commitment to duty and excellent performance,” said the President.
On upgrading of infrastructure, President Mnangagwa singled out Harare-Beitbridge Road rehabilitation, which is being funded using locally-mobilised resources and by local companies.
“The road is of strategic importance to Zimbabwe and the region, serving as a crucial enabler for trade and development. The other regional trunk roads that have been rehabilitated and are important in regional trade are the Harare-Beitbridge and Plumtree-Harare-Mutare highways. The Harare-Chirundu Road is equally important and will be accorded due attention as it is the gateway to the north,” he said
He commended the District Development Fund (DDF) and local authorities that have been maintaining and constructing feeder roads in rural areas and the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) which has been drilling boreholes during the Covid-19 era.
He said dam construction remained central to the Agriculture and Food Systems Transformation Strategy whose objectives included the assurance of national and household food security and production of raw materials for domestic industries.
The President commended Government for the completion and subsequent launch of National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) that will guide national budgeting and programming for the next five years.
Another achievement was the roll-out of the devolution and decentralisation policy, which recognises the right of communities to manage their own affairs.
“The impact of the policy is clearly being felt in the provinces as devolution funds are being deployed towards various projects which include water, health, education as well as re-tooling and re-equipping the local authorities,” he said.
Other achievements on the macro-economic front included dealing decisively with malpractices by mobile money operators, the foreign currency auction and creation of innovation hubs at universities.
On Covid-19, President Mnangagwa said several interventions that included the $18 billion stimulus and recovery package helped to avert a possible crisis.
“The year also saw the payment of the Covid-19 allowance of a basic US$75 to all civil servants and an additional special allowance to all frontline workers,” he said.
“In particular, we have been able to successfully hold post-Cabinet press briefings throughout the year, during which I am informed you actively participated and fully articulating the agreed policies and programmes of Government. Repeal of AIPPA and other reforms across the sectors also bode well for the development of our country,” he said.
“As we proceed on the annual Cabinet recess, let me emphasise that measures should be put in place to ensure the adequate provision of Government services throughout the festive season. While you may proceed on leave, subject to approval, you are required to remain reachable as you may be called on short notice if necessary.”
Speaking at the same occasion, Defence and War Veterans Affairs Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri said a deep understanding had been inculcated between Cabinet Ministers and the media throughout the year.
“This forum has enabled us to find each other irrespective of our different roles and diversities. It has also allowed us to clarify issues and forge a common understanding and this achievement deserves to be greatly celebrated. You are the information disseminators and practitioners and Cabinet expects accurate reporting on its policies, programmes and projects,” she said.
“We are gratified that the briefings lived up to their billing, aided by candidness from both the media and Cabinet.”
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the post-Cabinet media briefing brought the people closer to the decision making process.
“We can all agree that this has been a weekly highlight for audiences across the nation, as Cabinet ministers are readily available each week to speak to national issues that you as the media articulate on their behalf,” she said.
Minister Mutsvangwa said the Second Republic will prioritise the creation of a conducive national media environment and this year, that had been achieved through repealing of AIPPA, transparent issuing of licences for six new TV stations and a lot of progress had been made in the radio sector.
She said the Zimbabwe Media Commission Bill has since sailed through Parliament and now waited assent by the President before it came into law while amendments to the Broadcasting Services Act and the Protection of Personal Information Bill will be enacted next year.
“Ladies and gentlemen, chitima che progress ne development under the Second Republic hachisi kumirira ipapo, across every sector we are witnessing progressive reforms, growth and development which are intended to ensure that Zimbabwe is an Upper Middle Income Economy by 2030,” she said.