Local expertise to anchor national development

Fungi Kwaramba |  1 year ago | local

The Government will continue engaging local investors in the rebuilding of the country as they have demonstrated that the development of the nation can be done using local resources and skills.

Speaking after several companies including contractors in the Harare-Beitbridge Road construction made donations running into millions of the greenback at State House yesterday, the President said his administration will only engage foreign companies as a last resort.

“Allow me to take this opportunity to commend the companies here present, contracted to rehabilitate the Beitbridge-Harare Road. I applaud the high quality of works and speedy completion of targets you have been demonstrating since the commencement of the project. You have been a great example of what we can do as a nation with the use of our own resources and skills. Well done to you all.

“As we accelerate our national development agenda, my Government will continue to take full advantage of the abundant local skills, capacities and expertise. These will be our first port of call before we look outward,” he said.

Once a death trap, the Harare-Beitbridge Road is now shaping up as local companies, namely Bitumen World, Masimba Holdings, Fossil Contracting, Exodus and Co, and Tensor Systems put their shoulder to the wheel in the infrastructural transformation and rehabilitation of the country’s road network.

The President commended the financial and insurance sector, which was represented by the Insurance Council of Zimbabwe, for their positive contribution to the recovery of the country’s economy which is this year alone expected to grow by upwards of 7 percent.

“I equally commend the financial and insurance services sector for their positive contribution to the economic rebuilding of our country. I urge the sectors to continue to pursue more robust interventions and partnerships across all sectors, for the betterment of the quality of life of our people,” the President said.

As the country scales up the fight against Covid-19, which has been surging, Sakunda Holdings yet again led the way pumping in ZW$261 million towards efforts to curb the spread of the pandemic as well as ameliorate the situation through financing students at tertiary institutions whose parents have not been spared by the scourge.

Sakunda Holdings chief executive officer Mr Kudakwashe Tagwirei also pledged 500 heifers for the Presidential Livestock herd, five vehicles to the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) and 300 000 litres of fuel.

Several corporates have stepped up to assist the Government with various forms of donations that President Mnangagwa said will enhance the fight against the scourge.

The Harare-Beitbridge highway contractors donated US$500 000 with US$400 000 being channelled towards the National Covid-19 Vaccination Programme and US$100 000 towards capacitating Ekhusileni Hospital in Bulawayo.

CBZ Agro Yield also donated US$250 000 towards the roll out of the National Covid-19 Vaccination Programme, with ZB Financial Holdings also putting US$50 000 into the same pot.

West Property Company (Private) Limited chipped in with US$50 000 towards the National Covid-19 Vaccination Programme with businessman Mr Scott Sakupwanya putting in US$100 000 from towards the programme.

The Insurance Council of Zimbabwe donated fuel worth US$50 000 towards the cause of fighting Covid-19, a global pandemic that has strained governments.

In his remarks, the President said the positive gesture from the corporate world comes at a time when the country was battling to beat back a deadly third wave of the pandemic.

“This positive and generous response by the companies here attests to the unity of purpose that exists amongst the people of Zimbabwe in our fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. The tradition of coming together to lighten the burden in difficult times is in keeping with our culture as Africans and Zimbabweans. The health, well-being, protection and recovery of our people, will indeed be enhanced as a result of these acts of kindness and compassion.

“My Government stands ready to welcome similar support from other corporates, individuals, organisations and development partners as we scale up our fight against the pandemic.”

The President reiterated his call for Zimbabweans to get the critical Covid-19 vaccines that experts say are key if the country is to reopen economic activity to full-throttle and also adhere to WHO regulations such as washing and sanitising hands, social distancing, wearing face masks, and avoiding unnecessary travel.