Wednesday, 19 September 2018

ED SPEECH HAILED


LEGISLATORS and members of civic society yesterday hailed the speech delivered by President Mnangagwa as he officially opened the First Session of the Ninth Parliament saying it had set the tone for economic recovery.

Mines and Mining Development Minister, Winston Chitando said the President’s speech was encouraging.

“The whole address was very positive. In the area of mining we look forward to playing our role and as well as in line with other ministries on the achievement of the President’s vision of 2030 being a middle income economy,” said Minister Chitando.

Southern African Parliamentary Support Trust executive director, Mr John Makamure described the President’s speech as a huge departure from the previous ones.

“It was a very good address. It is a departure from previous address. The President dwelled on critical issues of public interest. I liked his approach that the legislative agenda should give impetus to the economic agenda. We are past the stage of electioneering. Now we have to deliver on the promises that were made during campaigns, so the economic agenda is on the uppermost and you need an appropriate legal framework to drive that agenda,” said Mr Makamure.

“It is the duty of MPs to ensure that there is new legislation and amend existing legislation so that the investing community has confidence in Zimbabwe because the legislation you put in place give signals in terms of the seriousness to attract investment. It should not be business as usual, they should come prepared to contribute. The SONA has laid the basis for the oversight and legislative work of Parliament,”

National Chiefs’ Council president Fortune Charumbira said the speech focused on what the President had undertaken to deliver during election campaign.

“We are encouraged and excited by the speech. It touches and focuses on the issues that the President undertook in his manifesto to pursue when he is in office. So he has been consistent. He wants to see that the issues he went with to Davos and also his desire to sanitise and clean the operating environment for investor, service delivery. For example, the Town and Country Planning Act has been a stumbling block in terms of planning and implementing projects. The Mines and Mining Act is another problematic area. It used to create conflicts between the communities and mining owners,” said Chief Charumbira.

He also hailed President’s stance on zero tolerance on corruption.

Zanu-PF Chivi South Member of Parliament, Dr Killer Zivhu commended President Mnangagwa’s commitment on devolution of power to lower tiers of governments.

He said that would go a long way in capacitating local authorities, particularly rural district councils that had nothing to show for their huge endowment of natural resources like minerals and water.

“Rural district councils are endowed with natural resources but royalties go to central Government. One example is Tokwe Mukosi Dam under Chivi South, my constituency, local authorities have no power to issue fishing permits as that is done by the parent Ministry. There are several minerals in areas like Midlands but local authorities have no say over the investor who might come. With devolution all the revenue goes towards developing those areas. An area like Midlands, Mberengwa district, there is a lot of underdevelopment because the district has nothing to show for the several minerals found in the area, the same applies with Marange diamond fields,”

Hwedza South MP Cde Tinoidashe Machakaire (Zanu-PF) commended President Mnangagwa saying the legislative agenda would inevitably take the country forward.

“We are excited by the speech. It set the correct tone for economic recovery. What remains is for us legislators to play our oversight, legislative and representative role to ensure that the vision by the President is realised,” said Cde Machakaire.

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