Victoria Ruzvidzo In Focus
Wow! It’s a busy period in the office for President Emmerson Mnangagwa and First Lady Auxilia Mnangagwa as the new dispensation continues to unfold, ushering a new work culture, a new ethos and a new way of doing things.
Indeed promises of hard work and a better future were no fluke nor was it mere politicking. It turns out the President is leading from the front.He has not sat down since he took office, making pronouncements and decisions set to transform Zimbabwe’s socio-economic landscape.
President Mnangagwa is leading from the front. He has made more pronouncement to consolidate promises made in his inauguration speech. Although his Cabinet list was greeted with mixed feelings, with some perennial pessimists already doubting the President’s sincerity, his work, energy and determination speak of a man on a mission.
He said the first 10 days in office were hectic. Understandably so. This week he swore in his Cabinet and held a Cabinet meeting during which he told ministers to come up with 100-day strategies. This is great. It ensures that everyone gets down to work to ensure after the 100-days they will have something solid to report on.
In fact before the 100-days expire, focus will be on them as Zimbabweans and other stakeholders watch in anticipation of better days. The civil service, largely known for poor performance, will have to quickly adjust and be in tune with the new dispensation.
Days of leaving a jacket on the chair as a sign of someone’s presence at work are gone. It’s now time to roll the sleeves and begin to work. The new bus driver is steering the bus in a different and more progressive direction that should yield positive results for this country.
Early this week, economic commentator Dr Gift Mugano painted a rosy picture for the economy as he agreed with the President that measures being put in place such as the three-month moratorium on those that externalised foreign currency would ease the liquidity situation and place the country in better stead.
“With the new Government, there will be certainly reversal of the current situation and the following are possibilities:
(a) Improvement of business confidence — already in motion;
(b) Improvement of liquidity and aggregate demand;
(c) Improvement in foreign direct investment;
(d) Improvement in the general business environment;
(e) Disappearance of the three —tier pricing system,” he sated in his presentation.
These are the key pillars that the economy has been grappling with, but Dr Mugano believes efforts already on the ground have brought in a real possibility of economic transformation.
He fell short of saying that we would also experience snow this Christmas as he registered confidence that President Mnangagwa would deliver. He also said monetary policy interventions would now begin to work more effectively given the new thrust.
“Dr John Mangudya (RBZ Governor) has already put in place great monetary policies and they will now begin to achieve positive results. He is a very sharp man,” he said.
This was set to combine well with the 2018 National Budget pronouncements made yesterday. We carry stories on the budget elsewhere in this newspaper. Indeed, the past few weeks have shown is that business is no longer as usual in Government. Things have changed for the better. There are lots of positive vibes in the air and it does not hurt for all stakeholders to hook onto these and take the economy forward.
In this vein we are waiting for the various ministries to present their 100-day plans as they get down to business. I pray all the ministers and other Government officials have taken a cue from President Mnangwagwa. The private sector should also respond positively together with other stakeholders to make this our country great again. We have the wherewithal!
Pleasant surprise from the First Lady It runs in the family! The First Lady pleasantly surprised us all when she visited the Harare Hospital to assess for herself the state of the institution while hearing first hand from staff and patients alike. How refreshing.
Of course this was not just a mere visit but one that will soon be followed with action to restore the health sector to its former glory. Zimbabwe’s health system has deteriorated to embarrassing levels over the past few years. Visiting Harare Hospital, Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals and other public health institutions has become a nightmare or even a suicidal mission for many patients, who have to go through a gruelling experience that often leaves them worse off.
The country’s two major hospitals have failed to cope with demand, with patients queuing for at last a whole day to get attention, which attention is usually compromised due to inadequate equipment and drugs. Some patients die in queues and yet their lives would have been saved had they received prompt attention.
It is sad to see relatives weeping and patients groaning with pain in a case of being so near yet so far away. For the past few years this has been the sad story in public health institutions countrywide. Those that are of poor means are left with nowhere to run.
Harare Hospital caters for at least 1 200 in-patients and 900 out-patients. These are not small numbers, requiring that the institution operates at full throttle in terms of staffing and upgrading facilities.
The Ministry of Health and Child Care has long lamented an inadequate budget allocation as the major reason for substandard service, thus compromising the lives of the thousands that depend on the hospital for service. The same story can be said of Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals and other public health institutions.
So it is against this background that we view the visit by the First Lady is a sure sign that transformation in the sector is on the horizon. Access to proper health facilities is a basic need that should not be denied the majority.
It is a critical component in assessing a nation’s development levels. Although Africa is replete with stories of poor health delivery, Zimbabweans will not find comfort in that, but expect that the situation will improve.
We commend Mrs Mnangagwa for her thoughtfulness and desire to touch base with people on the ground. This motherly gesture sends the right message that the current situation is of concern to the power-that be and will duly be addressed.
This is exactly what the doctor ordered!
In God I Trust!