Mukudzei Chingwere Herald Reporter
THE Government is determined to facilitate the modernisation of all socio-economic enablers as precursors to the attainment of rapid economic transformation, President Mnangagwa has said.
The President made these remarks when he officiated at the handover and commissioning of the new state-of-the art Natpharm Warehouse which was built through a grant from The People’s Republic of China.
Zimbabwe’s economy in the Second Republic, is being configured towards an upper middle income economy for the populace’s comfort. The health services have thus been identified as a key ingredient in this envisaged economy.
On the back of global medicinal supply disruption occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic, the construction and commissioning of the majestic warehouse could not have come at a better time, noted the President.
“This particular majestic warehouse is part of my Government’s efforts, towards enhancing access to quality healthcare services and a healthy nation, which is necessary for rapid economic transformation,” said President Mnangagwa.
“The timely completion of this magnificent facility is ample testimony of my administration’s determination to facilitate the modernisation of socio-economic enablers across all sectors of the economy.
“The evident attention to detail and quality of workmanship on these structures is commendable,” he said.
President Mnanagwa urged health stakeholders to complement Government’s ongoing import substitution strategy by ensuring that procurement of medicines supports the local manufacturing of pharmaceuticals.
He reminded that quality and affordability must be the guiding principles in the sourcing of products from international manufacturers.
“Ultimately, it is my expectation that we must gradually begin to see the shelves of these warehouses being filled up with ‘Made in Zimbabwe’ pharmaceutical products, in line with our national Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Strategy.
“Zimbabwe is desirous to urgently reduce the risks associated with disruptions in global supply chains as was experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Furthermore, the increased local production of drugs should see more of our people having access to vital medicines at a lower cost,” said the President.
That the grant came from the People’s Republic of China after President Mnangagwa’s visit to the Asian economic powerhouses and several other economic projects by the Chinese is evidence of the enduring and mutually beneficial relationship between Zimbabwe and China.
Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Zimbabwe Guo Shaochun said the relationship with Zimbabwe has no political attachments and respects sovereign rights.
“Our cooperation will always adhere to recipient-driven approaches, respect the independent choices of the Zimbabwean government and people, and never attach any political strings or economic coercive requirements. It is always Zimbabwe that decides on what, when and where to build.
“Our cooperation will always follow the principles of openness and transparency. Every project will always be in the open and the benefits will always be tangible.
“Our cooperation will always stay open and inclusive. We welcome more countries and international organizations to participate in the economic development of Zimbabwe, particularly in improving Zimbabwe’s infrastructure and people’s livelihood.”
The Chinese Ambassador said yesterday’s commissioning and opening of the warehouse was not only handing over a project, but also practicing the notion of common development.
“This new support from China demonstrates our determination and sincerity to continue supporting Zimbabwe’s development through the implementation of the Global Development Initiative (GDI), which was proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in the last session of the UN General Assembly in 2021.”
Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care Dr Constantino Chiwenga said the economic collaboration with the People’s Republic of China is testimony to the unwavering support and mutual cooperation with the Chinese Government and its people.
He thanked President Mnangagwa for his sterling leadership role aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of the citizenry through sound health initiatives.
“This facility will go a long way in expanding our storage capacity and eventually ensure medicines and commodities are always available,” said VP Chiwenga.
“Your Excellency, let me assure you that my Ministry has put in place strategic plans, informed by the National Development Strategy 1, to revamp Natpharm.
“The plan is to ensure that Natpharm becomes our strategic supplier of medicines, both for the public and private sector.
“The ultimate objective is that medicines and commodities are readily available at all times to the patients who require them,” said VP Chiwenga.
He said the Covid-19 pandemic revealed the urgent need for health systems to always have huge buffer stocks of critical medicines.
“This is true considering huge disruptions in the procurement and supply management of medicines globally. I am grateful once again for your vision in securing this support, which is critical for our health sector and indeed our people,” said the Vice President.