UPDATED: ED primes Zim for free, fair elections
Kennedy Mavhumashava recently in Johannesburg, South Africa
President Mnangagwa yesterday said the Government had put in place measures to ensure Monday’s harmonised elections are transparent, free, fair and credible.
Speaking at the BRICS Africa Outreach Dialogue at Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa, the President said although campaigning for the elections had reached its climax, he decided to honour the invitation to attend the event because Government attached great importance to the group of the world’s emerging economies as its meetings made strategic deliberations.
“My country goes to the polls in two days’ time which are set to deepen our democratic traditions in keeping with the guidelines and standards set by Sadc and the African Union,” President Mnangagwa said at the dialogue that was held at the 10th BRICS Summit.
“I thank the observer missions, including some from BRICS countries, which have heeded our invitation to join us during this crucial plebiscite. Let me assure you that all measures have been put in place for peaceful, transparent, free, fair and credible elections.”
Presidents of BRICS member-states — Michel Temer (Brazil), Vladimir Putin (Russia), Xi Jinping (China), India Prime Minister Narendra Modi and host President Cyril Ramaphosa attended the three-day summit that ended yesterday. It ran under the theme “BRICS in Africa: Collaboration for Inclusive Growth and Shared Prosperity in the 4th Industrial Revolution”.
President Mnangagwa was among African leaders who attended the outreach that is meant to strengthen relations between BRICS and Africa. Angolan President Joao Lourenco, Edgar Lungu (Zambia), Hage Geingob (Nambia), Paul Kagame (Rwanda), Yoweri Museveni (Uganda), Peter Mutharika (Malawi), Macky Sall (Senegal)and Filipe Nyusi (Mozambique) also attended the dialogue.
President Mnangagwa said he considered it important for him to attend the BRICS Summit and have a chance to exchange views with other leaders as the grouping ushers in its second decade of cooperation.
“My country thus recognises this forum as one where crucial strategic matters are deliberated upon, which matters have a bearing on shaping new global inclusive sustainable development and mutually beneficial partnerships,” he said.
The theme for this year’s summit, he added, resonated with the country’s development aspirations.
“We welcome the numerous possibilities for cooperation it (BRICS) offers for my country,” he said.
“My country is determined to leapfrog our development and growth. We have started on an ambitious but attainable drive to industrialise and modernize all sectors of our economy. Opportunities abound in the infrastructure, mining, agro-processing, light-to-heavy industrial manufacturing, ICTs and financial services sectors. All these key economic aspects rank high on our vision to be a middle income country with a per capita income of $3 500, decent jobs, broad-based empowerment, free from poverty and corruption by 2030. We therefore welcome collaboration on multi-country projects which facilitate speedy regional and continental integration at tertiary levels where there is greater beneficiation of our mineral resources for Zimbabwe’s overall industrialization. Zimbabwe stands ready to enhance collaboration, inclusive growth and shared prosperity with all of you.”
The President lauded BRICS for championing multi-lateralism since its formation in 2006. This, he said, has secured the interests of most developing countries. He urged the grouping to remain steadfast in working towards a stronger and open multilateral system.
“If ever we needed one, the time is now,” he said.
“We can be happy that one of the BRICS countries’ currency is now counted among the IMFs basket of reserve currencies. Zimbabwe recognizes the merit of the BRICS ambition to make the world better, more uniformly developed and prosperous place for all mankind. As we go back home, we shall carry with us the sense that better days await all of us, in a future we are building together, in solidarity.”