Vice Presidents Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi were sworn-in yesterday with their immediate task being to ensure the promises Zanu-PF made to the electorate are fulfilled within the next five years.
The Vice Presidents—who took their oath of office before Chief Justice Luke Malaba at State House in Harare—said improving the living standards of Zimbabweans was Government’s top priority. Policies already in place, they said, were attractive enough to lure investors into the country.
President Mnangagwa witnessed the swearing-in of his lieutenants.
First to take oath was VP Chiwenga, who said Government would move with speed to implement promises made to the people.
“The elections are behind us and what remains is now for us to implement with speed what we went around telling the electorate we intended to do within this term which started with the inauguration of the President,” he said.
“Those areas are in terms of our economy and in terms of the social aspects to improve the living standards of our people. That is what we will be doing. The last time we hit the ground running, here it will be Pheidippides.”
(Pheidippides was the legendary ancient Greek runner who inspired the modern day marathon competitions.) VP Chiwenga said programmes should be implemented within set timelines.
“We expect everyone in Government to brace up,” he said.
“It’s no longer going to be as usual. We are not going to accept that things can be done as people would wish. They will be done at the pace determined. This will apply to the colleagues whom we shall be having in Cabinet, our civil service and also the private sector. We expect the private sector to go with us just like yesterday (Wednesday) we had an agro-business conference organised by the show society.
“There were quite a lot of ideas which came up and I was happy that it was not only Government but also the private sector coming up with their own ideas and that is what we expect.” VP Mohadi said they would be guided by the Zanu-PF manifesto in executing Government programmes.
“We did not have a break. We just went for the elections to seek and get a new mandate to fulfil what we have set ourselves to do as government and a party (Zanu-PF),” he said.
“We are guided by our manifesto to do what we want to do for this country. It is therefore incumbent that the people of Zimbabwe believe our manifesto and the agenda that we will be following.”
Focus, VP Mohadi said, would be on employment creation and industrialisation in line with President Mnangagwa’s vision to turn the country into a middle-income economy by 2030.
“We have set ourselves to achieve the turnaround of this economy, which is the key thing,” he said.
“The President has been at pains to say that it is now economics and politics less, so we need to deliver. Quite a number of countries came to observe the elections and there have been a number of commitments from the people that would want to invest in Zimbabwe. All is premised on the fact that our policies seem to be attractive enough to have investment.”
He added: “To turn around the economy, one has got to create jobs. Eight months was too short a period to create more jobs but we believe that with the 60 months that are coming, we will be able to. Creation of employment has got two things we have to look at. It improves on the GDP and also expands the taxable base. When the taxable base is increased it means you are going to rake in more into the fiscus and thereby you will have enough resources to get into your Public Sector Investment Programmes (PSIPs). We are geared for that. “Our priority is industrialisation. We got the manpower. We have educated and trained you but we don’t have the implements to do so, we think with this drive to bring in investors and to turn around the economy we will get there.”
Chief Justice Malaba wished the new dispensation well in its endeavours.
“This is a requirement of the Constitution that the Vice Presidents be sworn-in by the Chief Justice before they assume office,” he said.
“That is why I am here; purely to perform my constitutional duty. I am happy to complete the process very well and wish the new dispensation well.”
The Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda led several senior Government officials who also witnessed the occasion.
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