Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
The 17th edition of the Zanu-PF Annual People’s Conference will focus on laying a firm foundation to improve the country’s economic fortunes and uplift citizens’ livelihoods.
This was said by President Mnangagwa yesterday during an address to Central Committee members at the organ’s 110th Ordinary Session. The President acknowledged the economic challenges the country was facing and said some of them were being fuelled by saboteurs.
The conference is running under the theme, “Zimbabwe is Open for Business: Peace, Unity towards an Upper Middle Income Economy by 2030” and begins in earnest in Esigodini, Matabeleland South, tomorrow.
“During the liberation struggle, we would always sit down to strategise on how to execute the war. The task before us now is to look for ways to build our country and uplift the people’s livelihoods and ensure that we have better schools, clinics, hospitals and clean water. So we are saying the task of rebuilding the economy is what we are facing. So when we meet in Esigodini, that is what we should focus on.”
The President said the conference would also review achievements and plan for next year’s activities.
“We are going to the conference to review our programmes and identify areas where we recorded successes and where we did not.
“We will also plan activities for the coming year,” said the President.
He said economic challenges such the massive hikes in prices of basic commodities were man-made and therefore deliberate.
“We have challenges we are facing with, some being normal when you are trying to fix an economy although some of them are acts of sabotage by our detractors,” he said.
The President cited an example of seed maize prices that were hiked overnight from $33 to $110 in October without explanation or plausible justification.
“We called the management of these companies as the Presidium to discuss the issue at State House and they quickly acknowledged the unjustified increase and pledged to reduce the price without explaining what had caused the overnight increase,” said President Mnangagwa.
He spoke out against corruption saying it would not be tolerated under the new dispensation.
“Under the new dispensation, we will not tolerate corruption. If there are some amongst us who are corrupt they should immediately discard that practice because you will not survive in the party if you are corrupt,” he added.
President Mnangagwa said Government was committed to implementing devolution as seen by the allocation of $310 million for that purpose in the National Budget.
He said they had instructed the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and that of Finance and Economic Development to calculate provincial GDPs to foster competition among provinces in initiating developmental activities.
On party issues, the Zanu PF First Secretary called for discipline among cadres.
“We might have problems in the party but we do not want gossiping and backbiting.
“If anyone has any queries or any concerns they should bring those up for discussion with others and not do it in a clandestine manner.
“We should all work to be remembered for the good work we would have done for the party. So we must be honest leaders, hard working leaders and servant leaders,” he said.
“The most important is loyalty to the party and unity among us, hard work and harmony towards common goals.”
At least 6 000 delegates are expected to attend the conference in Esigodini which ends of Saturday.