Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
Zimbabwe welcomes foreign investors, but will not accept investments that come with conditions attached, the President has said. He was speaking after taking part in the ninth edition of the National Environment Cleaning Day at Ashbrittle Shopping Centre in Mt Pleasant, Harare, yesterday.
President Mnangagwa said there must be unity and peace among Zimbabweans if the country was to develop.
“We want a better future, we want the next generation to live a better life than ourselves and to do so the current generation, united as a country, as a people, we put our heads together and shoulders on the wheel to develop, to modernise, to industrialise our country.
“We can do that and achieve that on our own, depending on our resources but alas, the pace at which we develop would be very slow. That’s why we have said ‘Zimbabwe is open for business’ in order to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country and assist us to develop the various sectors of the economy — agriculture, mining, tourism, manufacturing, infrastructure development and ICTs. “But when FDI comes into the country, it must come at the dictates of ourselves; no political ties, no conditions. The conditions should only be those which we want and this can only be achieved if we remain united, when we remain peaceful, when each one of us strives to do one’s best in whatever they are doing.”
He said Government had embarked on the re-engagement process so that the country re-joins the community of nations.
“In 2017 came in the new Government under the new dispensation and we said we are embarking on an engagement and re-engagement programme with the international community,” President Mnangagwa said. “We said we want Zimbabwe to join the family of nations. (We said to) those who were not engaged with this country, ‘can we engage?’
“We do not want to live in the past. The past can only be a lesson for us for the future so that we can avoid the bad things that have happened in the past.”
We have challenges and we must not avoid them but deal with them head-on. In that process, we will go through hard times until we surmount those challenges.
He added that he had recently commissioned 47 Zupco buses to ameliorate transport challenges being faced by the populace due to high fares being charged by private players.
President Mnangagwa said a further 1 000 buses were expected from China and 500 from Belarus.
Turning to the clean-up, he said the onus, to clean the environment was everyone’s responsibility.
“When we were growing only girls and women had the responsibility to ensure that the household was clean but we are saying that time is gone because it is now everybody’s responsibility to ensure that our environment is clean irrespective of one’s gender,” he said.
President Mnangagwa also commended Harare residents for improved cleanliness in the city, adding there was still room for improvement.
“There is a saying that says cleanliness is next to Godliness and I don’t think there is anyone who doesn’t want to be near God,” he said.
“Cleanliness brings out peace, brings about unity, and brings about prospects of prosperity because you give attention to things that are bad and remove them and aspire to have good things around you. Those are the tenets for development for any nation. Some people may say since this programme was introduced by President Mnangagwa, who is from Zanu-PF, they won’t take part but I want to say smartness knows no political affiliations but should be embraced by all.”