MY FRIENDS WILL BE PROSECUTED IF CORRUPT : MNANGAGWA
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said the Government would not consider friendship in its fight against corruption as no one is above the law.
Addressing Zimbabweans based in the DRC on Tuesday evening, President Mnangagwa said the vision of his administration was to ensure adherence to the rule of law.The President’s sentiments came on the eve of the expiry of the three month grace period he gave to those who externalised funds to repatriate the cash.
“In fighting corruption, we don’t have friends. It’s each man for himself. I’m happy that most of the people in the leadership accept the concept of fighting corruption,” said President Mnangagwa.
He said it is the vision of his Government to turn Zimbabwe into a middle income country by 2030 and that can be achieved by growing the economy, modernising industry and agriculture to catch up with other countries.
The President said following Government’s re-engagement initiative, Britain had pledged to assist in efforts to reduce the country’s international debt.
“They have a responsibility over the compensation of their kith and kin because we took our land. The bilateral disagreements over land were internationalised leading to the isolation of Zimbabwe after it was slapped with sanctions by the European Union and United States. Britain has said they will do their best to assist us in that area,” said President Mnangagwa.
He took time to explain the transitional period that led to the resignation of the former President Cde Robert Mugabe.
He said the toxic politics of the G40 cabal violated the operations of the three arms of Government and the ruling Zanu-PF resulting in the party recalling Cde Mugabe.
He said army generals convinced him that the evidence for impeachment was overwhelming and had it sailed through, Cde Mugabe would have lost his legacy and possibly been imprisoned.
“We had walked a long road with President Mugabe and didn’t want him to lose his legacy at the 11th hour,” said President Mnangagwa.
He however assured Zimbabweans that while the country had gone through political instability in the days leading to Cde Mugabe’s resignation, the contestations were mainly at the top and did not affect the rest of the country or the economy.
President Mnangagwa said the stabilisation of the country’s politics has seen the Government seeking partners who want to invest in Zimbabwe on a mutual benefit basis.
He said his Government had removed some barriers that repelled investors and this has seen it amending the Indigenisation law.
President Mnangagwa said as the economy is modernised, there will be a need for investors to partner Government in a number of projects.
“Our universities also need to have conversations with industry and commerce so that they don’t churn out graduates who will be jobless the next day but speak to the needs of those sectors,” said the President.
He gave an example of Victoria Falls that was declared a Special Economic Zone saying that many services are required in the resort town that investors can provide and Zimbabweans in the diaspora have a role to play in the turnaround of the economy.
The President said Government had also set up initiatives like Command Agriculture to support the agricultural sector where diasporans could also take part.
“We have ready markets like China. They can eat our entire chickens for lunch. We are also restocking our cattle so that we can export beef to foreign markets,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said his Government is also seized with reviving industries in Bulawayo with a major focus on the textile industry, the Cold Storage Company and the National Railways of Zimbabwe.
He said the coaches and locomotives leased to NRZ by Transnet of South Africa which he recently received, are expected to increase the volumes of cargo transported by NRZ.
The President said this will also ease pressure on the country’s roads which are being damaged by vehicles transporting heavy goods.
Cde Mnangagwa once again assured the nation that his administration will ensure that the forthcoming elections are free, fair, peaceful and credible.
Among some requests, businesspeople appealed to President Mnangagwa to assist in breaking some of the boundaries in the DRC in terms of getting Government tenders in the supply of various goods including fuel that they said is on high demand.
President Mnangagwa has since his inauguration last November, paid courtesy calls to fellow Heads of State in the region explaining the transitional period that led to the resignation of Cde Mugabe.
He has visited South Africa, Angola, Namibia, Mozambique, Zambia, Botswana on a State visit, and the DRC.
He is expected to travel to China on a similar mission in April.