By Alois Vinga
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has assured all business players that their property and business premises will be protected from any damage during the forthcoming elections.
The previous elections held in 2018 ended in violence which saw some errant political activists damaging and looting goods from several shops.
Similar disturbances took place during demonstrations against a 300% fuel prices hike in 2019 which triggered violent nationwide protests, exposing the business community to losses running into millions of dollars.
Addressing delegates at the ED Business Summit 2023 organised by the retailers group leader Denford Mutashu Friday, Mnangagwa assured business executives and Business Member Organisations (BMOs) in attendance that necessary safeguards are in place to avoid such losses.
“As the country heads for the harmonised general elections sometime this year, I call upon all Zimbabweans to undertake this exercise peacefully.
“My government wishes to ensure that businesses have mechanisms in place to guarantee the protection of premises and property during the election season.
“May you as the business community compliment these efforts by fostering peace, harmony, and tolerance. Together let us remain on our own course of building Zimbabwe all once together brick upon brick and stone upon stone,” he said.
He called for increased dialogue between industry and the education sector, highlighting that such engagements enable the administration to know what industry wants, leading to focussed policy interventions which answers the problems at hand.
Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe has abundant talent with some excelling and passing with flying colours of up to 33 As at A Level and underscored that such talent needs to be harnessed and taken advantage of through innovation hubs which allows the learners to invent anything at the government’s cost.
“With regards to trade facilitation the second republic is in the process of upgrading and modernising our ports of entry to improve competitiveness and facilitate efficient movement of goods.
“Over and above these plans are underway to establish a one stop border post at Beitbridge. The Victoria Falls, Kazungula and Machipanda and Plumtree Border Posts are also under priority to get One Stop Border Posts,” he said.
He challenged the private sector to take advantage of the benefits offered with regards to these projects.
The event received presentations from key economic clusters representatives from the retail , infrastructure, tourism, manufacturing, agribusiness, mining and exports sectors, all sharing their challenges and achievements since the inception of the economic reform agenda back in 2019.