Elita Chikwati Senior Reporter
FINANCE and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa has commended the security sector for remaining resilient despite the economic challenges.
He said this while presenting a paper on the effects of Zimbabwe’s current economic challenges on development and national security at the National Defence College yesterday.
Minister Chinamasa said Zimbabwe had remained a peaceful country despite the current economic challenges such as unemployment, sanctions, liquidity crisis and food security among others.
He said Government had made policy interventions and reforms to address the challenges and ensure peace and security in the country.
“I thank you (security forces) for your continued effort in keeping Zimbabwe a peaceful nation.
“Despite the economic challenges facing the country, our security system has remained robust,” he said.
Minister Chinamasa said economic development was key to the maintenance of national peace and security hence the efforts being made by Government to normalise the business environment and ensure people have access to basics.
“People want food, access to housing, education, healthcare, clean water and sanitation, access to jobs and a stress free environment.
“Meeting these expectations is essential to buying peace and national security. Economic development creates special conditions that influence national security,” he said.
He said Government had made efforts to address economic challenges and create a conducive environment for profitable economic activity through programmes such as Zim-Asset.
“Economic recovery would result in more people getting formal jobs, access to basic needs and also enhance the level of demand throughout the economy.
“Such a development will have a significant multiplier effect on the economy. With access to the basics, people are unlikely to engage in activities that threaten national security such as national uprisings, criminal activities, minor pick pocketing, white collar crime and violent crime among other and emergence of political parties that tend to take advantage of people in difficult situations.
“Value addition and sectoral support initiatives are aimed at creating employment opportunities. Government has been implementing policies to attract new investments as well as create an ideal environment for the resuscitation of struggling companies,” he said.
Minister Chinamasa said a number of companies including Arenel, starafrica corporation, Nestle Zimbabwe and Choppies Zimbabwe had continued to adapt their business models to the evolving market conditions.
In the agriculture sector, the initiatives include the Brazilian More Food for Africa programme which saw small-scale irrigation schemes receiving irrigation equipment, remapping of the farms to facilitate land tenure, promoting joint ventures and supporting vulnerable farmers to boost productivity.
“Government also addressed infrastructure in the energy and power generation. The total potential power generation capacity of some of the projects that are at various stages of implementation is at least 2 600 megawatts,” he said.
He said Government was also working on renewing investment and expansion of existing businesses, promoting inward foreign direct investment, strengthening the country’s taxation system, minimising leakages in the mining sector banking sector initiatives and international re-engagement to boost economic performance.