By Alois Vinga
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa says his government was keen on fine-tuning the country’s land reform policy to allow citizens to reap maximum benefit from the country’s most treasured resource.
He was speaking in a televised address Saturday on the occasion of Zimbabwe’s 40th Independence Day.
Mnangagwa reemphasised government’s land reform process remained a fundamental cog to the country’s sovereignty.
“The land shall forever remain united with the people, and the people to their land,” he said.
“To this, there is no wavering or going back.
“However, we shall not shy away from fine-tuning our strategies to enhance land utilisation, equitable access and productivity.”
The president expressed gratitude to Zimbabweans farmers whose efforts have continued to meet some of the food needs of a starving nation.
He said half a billion dollars has been set aside for the rehabilitation and expansion of irrigation projects countrywide.
However, while insisting the country’s land reform process was irreversible, Mnangagwa’s government has welcomed back onto productive land, some few white former landowners violently removed from their farms under a process led by now late former President Robert Mugabe in the past two decades.
In his address, Mnangagwa also outlined key capital projects like infrastructure must be completed.
He urged the tourism sector to prepare innovative strategies for recovery following the coronavirus outbreak that has devastated world countries and forced a halt to air travel.
Mnangagwa said manufacturers must diversify, riding on innovation, inventions, ICTs and the broader modernization agenda to meet the needs of society while also penetrating the global value chains.
“I am aware that our economy is now highly informal,” he said.
“My administration under the Second Republic will accelerate multi-pronged empowerment initiatives for start-ups and SMEs, especially those run by the youth and women, to grow and strengthen our manufacturing industrial base.”