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  • Inclusive government - Index of articles


  • Opening remarks by The Honourable Prime Minister of the Republic of Zimbabwe Dr. Morgan Richard Tsvangirai at the Zimbabwe International Business Conference in Bulawayo
    Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
    April 24, 2013

    The Vice President of the Republic of Zimbabwe Hon. J.T.R Mujuru,
    The Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Zimbabwe Hon. Prof. A.G Mutambara,
    The Minister of Industry and Commerce Hon. Prof. W. Ncube,
    All Ministers Here Present,
    Members of Parliament Here Present,
    Senior Government Officials Here Present,
    Members of the Diplomatic Corps Here Present,
    Chairman of the NECF Dr Robbie Mupawose,
    Chairman of ZITF Mr B.L Nkomo,
    Captains of Industry and Labour Union Leaders Here Present,
    Smart Partners,
    Colleagues and Friends,
    Ladies and Gentlemen!

    It gives me great pleasure to be with you again this year, being the third time I have been invited to this very important annual business conference. I would like to commend the National Economic Consultative Forum and the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair Companies for such an enduring partnership which must be a lesson for us all. This clearly buttresses the view that I have always said that, “What is clear to all and sundry is that Zimbabwe‘s fate is in our hands as Zimbabweans, and that all of us have a role to play.”

    Honourable Vice President, Ladies and Gentlemen, I am presenting a topic on “Setting the Scene for the Growth of the Value System in the Zimbabwean Economy.” The key issue is how do we shape our economic destiny and in the process create a socio-economic transformation that provides citizens with jobs, decent earnings, stable prices, an excellent foreign direct investment environment, sustained economic growth and development for our citizens. As key stakeholders in the economy amongst us all, what values are we contemplating that will see Zimbabwe being the colossal giant that we all want it to be?

    Zimbabweans across the board have clear expectations on how their national economy should be transformed and managed. They have specific deliverables they expect from all of us including behavioural norms. While we have been challenged by a series of contemporary exigencies to mobilise our inner strengths to overcome social and economic challenges from within ourselves, we must not allow such setbacks to constrain the ability to build a solid foundation for a value system that ensures the growth of the Zimbabwe economy. In education, we have already surpassed African levels but we are yet to turn that into a competitive value for rapid transformation and industrialisation.

    Honourable Vice President, Ladies and Gentlemen, years of the Inclusive Government clearly demonstrate that acting with a common purpose as a value is fundamental in rebuilding shattered confidence, broken down spirits, and the start of recovery and growth that soon becomes the envy of many. We are proud of togetherness as a value despite political differences that can spur this nation to sustainable economic growth.

    Honourable Vice President, Ladies and Gentlemen, we have made significant strides in stabilising the economy ever since the formation of the inclusive government in 2009. What is more fundamental is the sustenance of that growth matrix despite the differences in political ideologies of the parties in the Inclusive Government, more so as the election fever gathers momentum. For indeed both local and foreign investors are looking out for signals from government that the doing business environment is now more favourable. That is what you can expect of us and the semblance of stability that is typical of the last four years is a pointer in this direction. Non-violence and an environment of peace and tranquillity should be cherished by all political parties before, during and after the election period. No single political party or individual should be allowed at any cost to subdue the will of the people as we go for this watershed election period. It is only in an environment of peace, policy predictability and certainty that business flourishes.

    Let us now work on more value systems that will offer far greater opportunities for further prosperity, value additions, political stability, poverty alleviation and industrialization. Let us harness financial, technological and market opportunities while at the same time, rebuilding collaborative arrangements with other countries. In this process, we must act with a single resolution and communicate our single determination to be the best in Africa. Wealth creation and wealth generation have never been negotiable as they are governed by specific rules and policies. On their own, they constitute a raison de etre for a collective national resolve for growing the value system. Zimbabwe’s pride requires all of us as key players and stakeholders to work together through smart partnership.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, there is an equally important value system that is within the control of business itself. If our businesses are to survive they need to migrate from the traditional business models typical of the pre- GNU period and to ensure that the final end users of our products get value for money rather than paying for inefficiencies in the value chain. Business has a major challenge instead, to create business models that suit our new environment characterised by high volume production of superior products of high quality at competitive prices. We hear of success stories like Delta, Econet and Afrasia-Kingdom, to mention but a few that have risen to the challenges that all local businesses have faced and positioned themselves to compete in the same operating environment. Empirical evidence reveals that protectionism causes inefficiencies in the economy and can be a form of tax on consumers. This does not mean, of cause, that government should at the same time fail to come up with policies that peace and tranquillity should be cherished by all political parties before, during and after the election period. No single political party or individual should be allowed at any cost to subdue the will of the people as we go for this watershed election period. It is only in an environment of peace, policy predictability and certainty that business flourishes.

    Let us now work on more value systems that will offer far greater opportunities for further prosperity, value additions, political stability, poverty alleviation and industrialization. Let us harness financial, technological and market opportunities while at the same time, rebuilding collaborative arrangements with other countries. In this process, we must act with a single resolution and communicate our single determination to be the best in Africa. Wealth creation and wealth generation have never been negotiable as they are governed by specific rules and policies. On their own, they constitute a raison de etre for a collective national resolve for growing the value system. Zimbabwe’s pride requires all of us as key players and stakeholders to work together through smart partnership.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, there is an equally important value system that is within the control of business itself. If our businesses are to survive they need to migrate from the traditional business models typical of the pre- GNU period and to ensure that the final end users of our products get value for money rather than paying for inefficiencies in the value chain. Business has a major challenge instead, to create business models that suit our new environment characterised by high volume production of superior products of high quality at competitive prices. We hear of success stories like Delta, Econet and Afrasia-Kingdom, to mention but a few that have risen to the challenges that all local businesses have faced and positioned themselves to compete in the same operating environment. Empirical evidence reveals that protectionism causes inefficiencies in the economy and can be a form of tax on consumers. This does not mean, of cause, that government should at the same time fail to come up with policies that promote local industry especially on the aspect of beneficiation of our raw materials and other primary products of this country. This also does not mean going back on those programes that as government, we had committed ourselves to doing, such as the Distressed Industries and Marginalised Areas Fund (DIMAF) which would change lives and industrial performance in those areas we had identified.

    Let us abide by value systems that will offer far greater opportunities for further prosperity, value additions, political stability, poverty alleviation and industrialization. It is a very difficult proposition for a nation full of jobless youths to abide by these values. Let us therefore harness financial, technological and market opportunities while at the same time, rebuilding collaborative arrangements that help us achieve these noble objectives.

    In this process, we must act with a single resolution and communicate our single determination among the best in every chosen area of operation. Wealth creation and wealth generation have never been negotiable as they are governed by specific rules and policies. On their own, they constitute an imperative for a collective national resolve for growing the value system. Zimbabwe’s pride requires all of us as key players and stakeholders to work together in a smart partnership way.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, the responsibility to grow the value system, which in turn ensures that we are able to protect the quality of life for all, must be located at the government, business, and labour doorsteps, irrespective of race, colour, tribe, religion or political affiliation. Since many of us here decided to become leaders in society, we have a historic burden to serve people. All of us as leaders here, must put in motion the team work and value system which is key to resolving our national economic challenges. Failure to do so is to betray the trust and confidence bestowed upon us by those we serve as leaders. We must invest sufficient time, will and material resources to make sure the growth value system, reflected in continuous improvement, is a success.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, I refer you to Matthew 18 Verse 3 in the Bible,” Unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” Zimbabwe is in its final phase of the Inclusive Government and an atmosphere of stability and tranquillity is prevailing at the back of a very successful Constitutional Referendum. Zimbabweans now face the real test of confidence as the country manages the transition out of the Inclusive Government set up. Collective wisdom and humility of government, business, labour and society at large is required to see us through the pre- and post-election period. We have to continue with the growth of the value system based on the collateral of faith and hard work we have been known for throughout the world.

    Going forward, we anticipate that the various industry groups like Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC), Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI), Employers Confederation of Zimbabwe (EMCOZ), Tripartite Negotiating Forum (TNF) and others will collaborate to champion the national cause rather than focus on their individual interests. We all must continue to cherish the spirit of working together as Government, Labour and Business for the betterment and posterity of nation.

    Every one of us is an ambassador of the country and should help in attracting Foreign Direct Investment. To those investors still sitting on the sidelines, I say to them the time to invest in Zimbabwe is now. There has not been a better time and opportunity to invest in Zimbabwe than now, rather than adopt a wait and see attitude, waiting for the election outcome.

    We have a clear roadmap of our economic trajectory till 2015 in the form of our Medium Term Plan. Any Government that will be formed after the election is likely to continue using the Medium Term Plan as its economic blueprint. We will all insist on a free and fair election as a precondition for the sustainability of business during and after the election itself taking into cognisance that any disturbances to the economy will affect the consumer, who is a worker to labour, a client to business and a voter to the politician. The consumers’ interests are therefore more supreme than the interests of all of us and it is those interests of the ordinary person that must be protected by all. As leaders in our collective, be it in government or business, we should be bound by one common goal, to serve. We need a paradigm shift away from bottom line politics devoid of humanity-the pursuit of profit or the pursuit of votes as more important than service. Ancient wisdom says if you want to make money, serve people, if you want more votes, serve people, the money and the votes become incidental to your serving the citizens. This is the new dispensation that we all need to thrive for as we seek to grow our value system.

    I Thank You.

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