AT the end of 2017, Zimbabwe achieved an historic milestone with the ushering in of a new political dispensation, which saw the ascendancy to the Presidency of Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa after two decades of economic haemorrhage due to endemic corruption, social decay and poor governance.
Following his inauguration on November 24, President Mnangagwa has hit the ground running introducing an array of interventions aimed at stimulating the economy with the objective of returning the country its lost glory.
In a very short space of time after taking control of the levers of power, the President has put in place robust measures to deal with corruption, revive the economy, cut down recurrent expenditure and attract foreign direct investment among others.
In addition, the new administration has moved with speed in amending the contentious indigenisation law, rationalised the civil service through a range of cost-containment measures with a view to creating fiscal space for capital expenditure and reducing budget deficits, and reforming State-owned enterprises.
The new Government has also extended Command Agriculture to small grains, maize, soyabeans, tobacco, cotton, livestock, fisheries and wildlife conservation on top of maize and is developing a local content policy to boost national production.
The President’s State of the Nation Address gave a detailed economic turnaround plan for the country, underlining measures addressed in the National Budget Statement; and emphasising on international re-engagement and commitment to free and fair elections.
The President has also taken an unprecedented move and tasked Cabinet ministers and various arms of Government to come up with 100-day performance targets, which are expected to bring quick results.
We now start 2018 with high optimism and great expectations, especially after the new administration’s efforts to turn around the economy have been given a thumps up by the Africa Export and Import Bank which extended a staggering US$1,5 billion aimed at stabilising liquidity and fostering production, particularly in mining and manufacturing.
The fact that Zimbabweans have shown confidence in the new political dispensation and are eager to see changes in the economic, social and political spheres is not in doubt.
The citizenry has great expectations and what is left is for the new leadership to deliver. Indeed, for the majority of Zimbabweans, service delivery and good governance is at the centre of their immediate deliverables. They want cash from the banks, jobs, stable prices, access to affordable health facilities, clean and sufficient water.
The last thing they want to hear of and see is political squabbling and violence. Haggling over who has been appointed Vice President or Cabinet minister does not add any value to them. Zimbabweans simply want decent living.
It is therefore incumbent upon the new administration to make good on promises made.
This is especially important as elections are scheduled to be held this year and the ruling party would want to retain power.
The declaration by President Mnangagwa in his New Year Message that 2018 is the year for all Zimbabweans serves as an important step in building confidence and underlines the President’s desire to create a peaceful and stable political and socio economic environment that will ensure the nation’s prosperity.
The three-month moratorium on those that externalised foreign currency will end soon. Should those who externalised the money respond, this would ease the liquidity situation and place the country in better position. The President has said 2018 will undoubtedly have immense opportunities and its full share of challenges. But if we remain united as one people, nothing is insurmountable. We concur and
await with great expectations.