President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday promised that 2019 would be a much better year for Zimbabweans, pinning economic revival on the growth of tourism and new mining projects.
“I am confident that the year ahead holds a promise of better for our nation, all built on the strong foundation we have already laid for economic recovery and growth. We have to increase output across a whole range of minerals we have in the country while expanding both domestic and foreign investment for greater value addition and beneficiation,” he said in his New Year’s message.
Mnangagwa said 2019 would witness a surge in resource mobilisation for technological advancement as well as a revival of the manufacturing sector, which has been operating below capacity for decades.
“Many housing projects and related infrastructure are planned for the coming year. With elections now behind us, the time has now come to refocus on improving our economy in order to improve livelihoods and the general welfare for our citizens,” he said.
Mnangagwa also listed the rehabilitation of the county’s highways as his major target for 2019, the upgrading of the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport to a world-class airport, completion of various projects in the energy sector and devolution.
“Fellow Zimbabweans, the year ahead must, thus, mark a turning point,” he envisaged.
Since Mnangagwa won last year’s presidential polls on July 30, the country has been on an economic tailspin characterized by massive price hikes and shortages of basic commodities, as well as a serious liquidity crunch, while more companies have closed, with thousands now out of jobs.
The government is currently grappling with a month-long strike by junior doctors, which has resulted in most patients being turned away at public health institutions, while teachers have also threatened a crippling industrial action when schools open next Tuesday to protest for better salaries and working conditions.
Meanwhile, some Zimbabweans yesterday remained hopeful that the situation in the country would improve this year, as they supported efforts for dialogue between the two major political parties in the country, Zanu PF and the Nelson Chamisa-led MDC.
“We are suffering in Zimbabwe because of politics. What I want to see in 2019 is Zanu PF and MDC having dialogue so that we can see the improvement in the lives of Zimbabweans,” Tendai Chewu, a Harare retailer, said.
Sharon Mutingazi said that it was her dream to see prices of basic commodities going down.
“It’s getting harder and harder for us every day because we do not have the money to buy basic commodities. Prices have gone up so much that we are not sure what to do with our children who are going back to school (soon),” she said
McDonald Chikadzi, also from the capital, said: “I want to see Parliament passing Bills that build the nation, not just making noise in the august House. Electoral reforms must be implemented and Bills that curb corruption in the country must be introduced.