Home-grown response to Covid-19 lauded
Zimbabwe must go into overdrive in using home-grown solutions, local manufacturing and links to universities and colleges to grow the economy and address challenges building on the innovative collaboration now shown in containing the Covid-19 pandemic.
Local industries and institutions of higher learning have led the way in producing materials that include personal protective clothing, hand sanitisers and pharmaceuticals used in fighting the pandemic.
Addressing the 339th Ordinary Session of the Politburo yesterday, the Zanu PF First Secretary, President Mnangagwa, called for cooperation between small and medium-scale enterprises, local manufacturers and educational institutions.
The Politburo also acknowledged that a new world order would be created after the Covid-19 pandemic, adding that the party was strategising for that eventuality.
“The manufacturing sector and SMEs must harness the immense potential in home-grown, innovative solutions to drive and propel our country’s modernisation and industrialisation, which has been made more evident during the present Covid-19 response strategies. In this regard, there should be closer cooperation between the manufacturing sector, SMEs and our education institutions,” said President Mnangagwa.
Tertiary institutions such as University of Zimbabwe, Chinhoyi University of Technology, Great Zimbabwe University, Midlands State University, Bindura University of Science Education and Harare Institute of Technology have produced personal protective equipment and sanitisers to fight the pandemic.
HIT has also produced a ventilator while engineers from the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) repaired dysfunctional ventilators at Mpilo and United Bulawayo Hospitals.
Pharmaceutical company Caps Holdings, which has a capacity to produce six million tablets daily has stepped up production of drugs like amoxylin, flummel and vitamin C tablets considered necessary for Covid-19 management.
President Mnangagwa added that Government was committed to accelerating infrastructure projects to drive the economy.
“Infrastructure projects such as the Beitbridge-Harare road construction as well as other roads such as the Bulawayo-Nkayi roads will be accelerated. Equally, Government will be moving with urgency to help in easing the perennial water challenges in Bulawayo Province,” he added.
In all these processes and initiatives, he challenged the party through its departments to get involved and urged greater participation of party members.
“Our national development must not leave anyone behind. We are a caring party, a party for the people and from the people. We must be a more visible, alert and empathetic leadership, which timeously raises and brings to the fore, issues that affect the quality of life of our people.
“With regards to keeping our membership mobilised, the party must develop and adopt new strategies which take into account the inevitable new realities, which will be brought about in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.
He commended individuals, corporates, churches, humanitarian organisations, friendly countries and international institutions who assisted the country’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
These include the People’s Republic of China, United Kingdom, India, United States, United Arab Emirates, European Union and the African Union.
The President thanked Zimbabweans that had taken heed of regulations meant to curb the spread of Covid-19 and said the Ministry of Health and Child Care and other stakeholders were increasing the number of testing centres across the country.
He acknowledged that all sectors of the economy had been hit by the pandemic and control measures, with the informal sector suffering the most.
Turning to the 40th Independence celebrations, which were supposed to be centred in Bulawayo for the first time in the history of Zimbabwe, but were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, President Mnangagwa said Zimbabweans must not forget the significance of the day.
“On the 18th of April, we celebrated our momentous 40th Independence Day Commemorations. Although we could not gather as we often do to mark this very important day, we must however, never forget the symbolism of this significant day. Let us always protect and defend the proud heritage bequeathed to us by those who have gone ahead of us and laid the solid foundation for our nation.
“As a revolutionary people’s party, we must never stop reflecting on the path we have journeyed as a nation, to draw inspirations from the experiences and lessons of the past and to chart the course for a brighter future and more prosperous Zimbabwe,” said President Mnangagwa.
The Politburo commended Government for the responses to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Zanu PF Secretary for Administration Cde Obert Mpofu told a press conference after the Politburo meeting: “The Politburo appreciated the $18 billion rescue and stimulus package announced by Government. We have confidence that the risk adjusted strategy to level 2 will eventually lessen fatalities,” Cde Mpofu said.
He also said the Politburo had also received a report on the state of agriculture in the country, highlighting the countrywide tours being undertaken by Vice President Constantino Chiwenga and Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement Minister Chief Air Marshal (Rtd) Perrance Shiri to improve the sector.
The Vice President has been touring farming projects across the country that are involved in winter wheat and livestock production among others.
VP Chiwenga, who chairs the Cabinet Food Security Nutrition Cluster recently launched the 2020 winter wheat planting season with a set national target of 416 000 tonnes from an expected 80 000 hectares, more than triple last year’s total and enough for self-sufficiency.
“Worth mentioning is the continued prioritisation of mitigating against climate change by embarking on smart agriculture, harnessing of water bodies, continued mechanisation, national herd revival and growing of traditional grains,” Cde Mpofu said.
He added that the Commissariat was continuing with its mobilisation efforts in preparation for the 2023 elections.
“Positive engagements with social groups, labour unions, religious sects and the diaspora community at large are starting to bear fruits with most of these stakeholders wanting to join the party for their active participation and development of the country,” he said.