President curbs unnecessary foreign travel

PRESIDENT Mnangagwa has restricted unnecessary foreign travel by both Cabinet ministers and their permanent secretaries saying only trips which contribute to Zimbabwe’s national priorities and ultimate vision of an upper-middle-income economy by 2030 will be sanctioned.

In addition, the President declared that going forward, no minister and permanent secretary will be permitted to be out of the country at the same time as this would curtail their ministry’s service delivery and general Government business.

This comes as the Second Republic, with a brand new mandate following Zanu PF and President Mnangagwa’s victory in the August 23/24 elections, continues to accelerate production and productivity on all fronts.

Addressing the first Cabinet meeting following his election victory, President Mnangagwa tasked ministers to expedite the implementation of ongoing as well as new policies, projects and programmes for the benefit of the people.

He said the Second Republic would continue initiating people-oriented policies, programmes, and projects for the sole purpose of improving Zimbabweans’ livelihoods.

“All members remain guided by the relevant circular on foreign travel. In this regard, no minister and permanent secretary can both be out of the country at the same time, as this has negative implications on service delivery and general Government business.

“Further, travel outside the country will be strictly limited to those programmes which are of strategic importance and contribute to our country’s national priorities.

“As the Executive arm of Government, our policies, programmes and projects should remain people-centred for an improved quality of life for all our people.

Vice Presidents Dr Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi follow proceedings during the first Cabinet meeting at State House in Harare yesterday

“Production and productivity across all sectors must be accelerated. All projects and programmes embarked on during the First Term of the Second Republic should be completed speedily. This calls for hard work and focus from all of you,” he said.

The President implored Cabinet members to ensure their ministries facilitate the ease of doing business, pursuant to promoting Zimbabwe as an investment and tourism destination of   choice.

To this end, President Mnangagwa directed Cabinet to expedite the attainment of set targets across all sectors, while reiterating that ministers were free to come and consult him for guidance.

“Henceforth, it is critical for Cabinet members to be responsive and robustly track and facilitate the implementation of policies and programmes that quicken the attainment of set goals. My office remains open for any guidance and support.

“Further, as ministers, you are required to ensure that your ministries facilitate the ease of doing business in line with our private sector-led development strategy and quest to make Zimbabwe an investment and tourism destination of choice,” he said.

President Mnangagwa said the Second Republic would remain seized with consolidating food security, especially considering prospects of a drought this season.

In this regard, he reiterated the need for the adoption of climate smart agriculture by farmers and pursuance of export markets more aggressively.

“Cabinet remains seized with consolidating food security at both household and national levels. Although weather forecasts point to El-Nino, we remain hopeful that our country will receive good rainfall to give further impetus to the growth of agriculture and the agro-industrial sector.

“In view of climate change, our people should be encouraged to practise climate-proofed and smart agriculture according to ecological regions. Agriculture export markets must be pursued more vigorously,” President Mnangagwa said.

The Second Republic, he said, would tirelessly pursue improved access and affordability of basic services, while emphasising that the regularisation of informal settlements remained a top Government priority.

He said infrastructure development would also be expedited especially now that the country was approaching the rainy season.

Ministers at the first Cabinet meeting at State House yesterday. – Picture Innocent Makawa

“Further, we must scale up the provision of accessible and affordable social services for our people, in particular those in rural areas who bore the brunt of the arduous 16-year war of  liberation.

“Successes have been scored to reduce the infrastructure deficit throughout the country. The regularisation of informal settlements should be given urgent priority. 

“Our ongoing Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme will be scaled up ahead of the rainfall season,” said the President.

Turning to the mining sector, President Mnangagwa said following the surpassing of the US$12 billion mining industry target, the sector would continue performing beyond expectations.

He said Zimbabwe would continue making concerted strides in accelerating its modernisation and industrialisation agenda.

“As much as possible, the use of local, human, financial and material resources in project implementation must be the norm.

“Leveraging on our abundant natural resource and human capital base as well as the science, technology and innovation revolution, we must leap frog the modernisation and industrialisation of our country.

“Riding on the success of the US$12 billion mining industry target, which we have already achieved, our mining sector must continue to be a source of employment, foreign currency earnings technology and skills transfer as well as the overall development of our respective communities,” he said.

President Mnangagwa said transparency and accountability would remain the Second Republic’s hallmark.

“It is imperative that we continue to refine and perfect our procurement system in order to promote value for money in all Government programmes and projects.

“Transparency and accountability must remain the hallmark of this Administration. The recently gazetted Statutory Instrument No. 156/2023 on the Mutapa Investment Fund has far reaching implications to our State Owned Enterprises as well as the state of our economy as a whole.

“I expect Cabinet to play its part in line with the overall vision of this new development.”

The President congratulated the new ministers while urging them to be united in taking the country forward as opposed to seeking individual glory.

President Mnangagwa also revealed that functions of deputy ministers would be availed soon, saying they had been appointed to complement the ministers.

“I trust that the induction sessions organised by the Chief Secretary will be informative, particularly with regards interactions with one another; as well as with your respective permanent secretaries and personnel in your ministries, departments and  agencies.

“It is my expectation that the role of deputy ministers will correctly be understood as complementing your own in order to derive maximum benefit from their skill sets so that Government and our people as a whole  benefit. 

“The relevant circular on the functions of deputy ministers will be availed for the benefit of all members concerned.

“I once again congratulate you all for this opportunity to serve the people of our country in your respective ministerial portfolios. I wish you all great success and urge you to work in unity rather than seek individual glory. Patriotism, loyalty, integrity, hard-honest work and focus are indispensable in this important national duty,” he said.

President Mnangagwa also took time to apprise Cabinet of his attendance of the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, describing it as a “resounding success”.

“Today (yesterday), we are convening as Cabinet, a day after my return from the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, which was a resounding success. I had the honour to tell the world of our country’s success story in spite of the continued illegal sanctions imposed on us. 

“The bi-lateral meetings and engagements on the sidelines were extremely fruitful and will contribute to advancing our country’s development agenda,” said the President.

Herald

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