President Emmerson Mnangagwa says the new political administration prefers dialogue to acrimonious relationships and will do everything in its power “to address people’s concerns and grievances”.
Government’s new re-engagement thrust, he said, was now bearing fruit, as the country had managed to attract investment commitments worth an estimated $11 billion in the past four months.
He said this yesterday while addressing thousands of Johane Masowe Vadzidzi VaJesu Church pilgrims from across Africa at their Madziva Shrine.
“I think you are aware of the recent nurses’ strike where they chose to sacrifice people’s lives for selfish reasons. We engaged them in dialogue, but they opted to sleep at their respective homes.
“We responded by firing them. The decision to fire them created 2 000 jobs for qualified nurses who were not employed. However, most of them have since reapplied and are now back at work. They should respect the sanctity of human life,” said President Mnangagwa.
“We should have dialogue in everything. I am a listening President and we will be there to address people’s concerns and grievances and not to resort to uncalled for protests.”
President Mnangagwa said more countries, including investors, are now warming up to Zimbabwe.
“We have managed to attract more foreign investment commitments worth about $11 billion as of yesterday (Tuesday) during the past four months. This is well above what we have been attracting over the past 18 years where we were viewed as a pariah State.
“Companies are expanding, while new ones are opening. We need to address the mismatch between imports and exports as we are spending more money in bringing in imports into the country,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said the country had managed to thaw frosty relations with most western countries, adding that the bilateral dispute with Britain is now over.
“We have opened our doors to old and new friends. We cannot continue living in isolation. We need foreign investment, as well as those countries’ technical expertise.
“Our quarrel with Britain is over. It was hinged on the land reform. We distributed our own land here. The land did not belong to the British, but to us Zimbabweans. So far, I have received three envoys from Britain, while we have had delegations from western countries paying courtesy calls on us,” he said.
The Head of State and Government said it is now time to address the economic challenges affecting the nation.
“Our nation should prosper, while our children attend school. We should continue with our programmes like Command Agriculture, which ensure enough food for the nation.
“We want to continue harvesting water for agricultural purposes, while we urge you to venture into chicken-rearing projects. There is demand for our fruits and chickens in China and we should tap that market to turnaround our economic fortunes,” he said.
He pledged to avail a farm to the church in order to help it produce for its members