‘New Cabinet must deliver’

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THERE were no surprises last Friday when President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced what has become a widely endorsed Cabinet.
The notable aspect coming from that issue is confirmation that he is indeed a listening leader.
President Mnangagwa unveiled what could turn out to be a competent Cabinet, but the task ahead for the new team is a herculean one, on paper at least.
They inherit what is an almost moribund economy and an immensely expectant populace.
Zimbabweans are reeling from an economy that has failed to perform to their expectations for the past decade.
They are having to contend with a stubborn currency and serious manipulation of prices on the market.
Added to that are serious foreign currency shortages which have resulted in companies scrambling for the little that is available from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) as the economy shows signs of improvement.
This is on the back of the assumption of office by President Mnangagwa on November 24 2017.
Making the situation almost dire has been lack of capacity utilisation in the manufacturing sector to process goods resulting in a huge import bill for the country.
But in the new Cabinet which President Mnangagwa has rightfully described as ‘diverse, dynamic, youthful and streamlined with the skills and experience required to achieve our goals’, Zimbabweans have a reason to believe again.
This is what the new Cabinet will be inheriting with the immediate task being to infuse confidence in the people.
As has always been the case in Zimbabwe, the country is unfortunately ‘blessed’ with an opposition which has yet to grasp the concept of opposition politics.
MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa claimed President Mnangagwa had done ‘nothing’ in appointing the new Cabinet which he claimed was laden with ‘bad apples’.
An important question is: Since Chamisa controls the majority of urban local authorities, why can he not prove that he, indeed, holds the key to the country’s prosperity as claimed by his ‘close’ ally Tendai Biti soon after his swearing in at the House of Assembly last week?
Impeccable MDC Alliance sources have since told this publication there was widespread panic in the opposition soon after President Mnangagwa unveiled his Cabinet hence their attempt to cast aspersions on the same.
Health and Finance Ministers Dr Obadiah Moyo and Professor Mthuli Ncube, respectively, have been receiving brickbats from the opposition which has been questioning their credentials despite evidence to the contrary.
Prof Ncube has already outlined his economic revival plan.
Speaking to The Sunday Mail, Prof Ncube revealed he would be pursuing a serious currency reform project aimed at restoring confidence in the market.
He proposed three strategies which he said would result in the country having a solid currency that would attract the much-needed investment.
Said Prof Ncube: “I am very clear that there have to be currency reforms and the (current) currency approach is not working.
In doing so, there are three choices that I will explore and pursue with urgency: One, adopt the US dollar only and remove the bond notes from circulation through a demonetisation process and also liberalise exchange controls.
Two, adopt the rand by negotiating to join the Rand Monetary Area, and this will close the gap in loss of competitiveness against our largest trading partner, South Africa.
Three, adopt a new Zim dollar, and here one needs to be clear that it has to be backed by adequate foreign reserves and macro-economic conditions for its stability.
Foreign currency accounts will also be introduced.
For sure, currency reforms will be implemented.
I strongly believe in the President’s vision of seeing Zimbabwe become a middle-income country.
This will be attained through economic growth that is strong, sustained and inclusive.
I have pioneered strategies on how African countries, like Zimbabwe, can grow a sustainable middle class, get people out of poverty, and become middle-income countries.
We will need to look at the several pillars that affect economic development such as Government expenditure, attracting foreign direct investment and so on.”
Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando is also another man with a plan for the country.
Speaking to the same publication, Minister Chitando said he would strive to ensure the mining industry generates US$12 billion in annual revenues within five years.
President Mnangagwa is pinning his economic revival plan on vibrant agriculture and mining sectors.
“My main agenda is to help the President achieve his goal for Zimbabwe to become a middle-income economy by 2030. Our target is to ensure that by 2023, the mining sector can generate annual revenue of US$12 billion,” said Minister Chitando.
“We believe this is very achievable and we are on the right track in line with our goals for every sub-sector, such as our ambition to produce 100 tonnes of gold annually.”
As the country moves forward, there is no illusion that the new Cabinet has a tough task ahead.
It needs the support of every Zimbabwean.

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