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by President Robert Mugabe to the media after the swearing in of
the new cabinet in Harare on Wednesday
President Robert Gabriel Mugabe
September 11, 2013
Greetings to you all.
You have come to witness an event and the event speaks for itself,
doesn’t it? Res ipsa loquitur, the thing speaks for itself.
Yah, well people were
all these days saying when is the Cabinet going to be set up? You
don’t set up the Cabinet until the steps and other motions
have gone through. Every member of the Cabinet except five of them
or three of them had to be sworn in first, they had to become MPs,
sworn in, and the swearing in took place on Tuesday. So it was only
after that had happened that I was in a position to say that these
now are valid peas.
They are not
just people who have been elected, they are elected and now they
have had the baptism of Parliament.
They therefore can be looked at in terms of whether some of them
can be chosen to constitute the Cabinet. So that is the exercise
we had to do after people had been sworn in on Tuesday and today
is Wednesday. So yesterday we set up the Cabinet and today the swearing
in now which they have to do as Cabinet ministers was done.
But that is
the ceremonial aspect. The political aspect is that these now are
the Team that should
lead Government into action along the policies that had been stipulated
by the party which has won elections and from whom these derive.
And programmes of Government, therefore, for the next five years
will be a programme of continuing some of the work that the previous
Government left undone but still requiring to be finished.
That has got to be done
and therefore we would expect that our ministers will look at their
portfolios, examine what the previous ministries were doing? What
was accomplished and what was not accomplished? And get on with
that which was accomplished, but even look at that which was accomplished
and see whether it cannot become the starting point for new programmes.
But I would want to say that our emphasis will not just be on continuing
what was left undone but it will be on our programmes as envisaged
by us and expressed by us in our manifesto.
We will need to revive
some of the institutions and establishments that the previous Government
left to go into oblivion or neglected and you obviously are aware
we were not yet one within that Government in terms of policies
and in terms of outlook and in terms of ideology and therefore things
did not go well all the time.
Where, for example, we
wanted assistance given to industries, to factories, companies that
we rely upon for production, this was not done. In some cases what
was done was very little, not adequate to enable those establishments
to really be on valuable grounds and so we will look at that. We
will look at the various sectors in agriculture; what is it that
requires to be done, looking at the land, looking at the farmers,
looking at their requirements, what assistance can be given.
The assistance is not
an act of generosity; it is an act of facilitating the farmers to
do business. Are there facilities which farmers can rely on using
their own capacities now to do business, to be productive. The financial
aspect, for example, financial system, financial institutions, and
the banks, are they liquid enough? Are they also fronts, financial
fronts, that are enablers to our farmers? We have to discuss this
with our financial institutions.
Money must not be unnecessarily
expensive. Interest rates have got to come down to levels that are
affordable, but we also must ensure that the institutions are liquid
enough so that they can carry out that function of lending to agriculture.
We know that loans to agriculture are never long-term loans, they
are short term, seasonal, and we would want to see more production
of tobacco, more production of maize, soya beans, cotton, etc.
We would want to see
also our livestock being taken care of and our farmers those who
look after, who have livestock and depend on livestock like in Matabeleland
have got to be assisted and also given direction. Extension officers
must be at work giving advice, instructions as to what animals really,
what breeds they need to keep at certain areas and for what purposes?
We need animals for beef and for beef export. We need animals also
for dairy products, milk, butter, cheese, etc. Domestic consumption,
for export purposes and we should encourage the rearing of other
breeds than our own and linking our breeders of such animals, exotic
animals with society elsewhere so they can continue to take into
account whatever new ideas are afforded them and that can help to
look after those breeders in a more productive manner.
But that’s looking
at agriculture as a whole and agriculture has not been suffering
as much as the industrial side because we have seen at least the
tobacco farmers not only increasing in number but also giving yields
in terms of quality that are being praised by those who know what
good tobacco is and what tobacco that is not good is like.
We need, accordingly,
to look at other crops there. We have cotton, cotton was suffering,
maize production suffering from the hazards, climatic hazards that
visit us all the times that is drought, drought year in year out.
And how do we take care of that? Well, it means we must conserve
as much water as possible, building dams and after doing that have
irrigation schemes, mechanisation of agriculture, it’s absolutely
necessary. Conservation of water, absolutely necessary. And this
has got to be done, done in an effective manner, not just, you know
leaving it to a farmer here and a farmer there doing their little
dams, no, we must look at our country, look at also areas where
massive dams must be established, then look at those dams we have
already made. Tinana Tokwe Mukosi still building and about to be
finished now. Kune mamwe atakamboita which have no irrigation schemes.
We have to get irrigation schemes there otherwise why have all this
water in the dam just to wait for evaporation to take place, for
it to once again go into the air, into the atmosphere, no that’s
it. So you have that aspect also to look after.
Are there new crops,
a while ago we were talking of dry, dry, dry semi-desert areas of
West Africa where now rice is being produced and exported? We are
not as dry as some of those areas. And why can we not produce rice?
We import rice from Thailand, other places and so on. Import substitution,
export dzinozouya from that dzinozotibatsira ma exports acho to
also increase our revenue.
But for industry, companies
look at the companies. Bulawayo was made the industrial city tichiri
vana vadiki isusu. When we grew up, Bulawayo was the talk of our
city which was the industrial, where employment was available much
more than other cities.
Harare was to be the
administrative capital. But pakazouya Federation in 1953, December
although it lasted only for 10 years December 1963 it was dead.
So, but it drew now much more investment into Salisbury and Salisbury
started having industrial, industrial, industrialisation on a larger
scale than Bulawayo because this was also the federal capital apart
being the territorial capital. And then started having skyscrapers
here and none in Bulawayo. The first one was Livingstone House.
Mamwe akazouya much later before you were born, I am sure. Some
skyscrapers are much older than you are, shame! You should have
been born much earlier, makanonokerei? Okay that’s Harare,
that’s how it grew and outstripped Bulawayo. I am saying so
because by the fact of my employment and fact that my father stayed
in Bulawayo for 10 years and was employed there as a teacher first
at Empandeni a year, then Hope Fountain outside Bulawayo, 10 miles
therefrom. If you don’t know what miles are, don’t ask
me I am British. (Laughter) 10 miles out of Bulawayo, I was there,
and I hopped to South Africa to Fort Hare from there. So I have
that Bulawayo culture in me. It was a very nice city and very beautiful.
I went there when I was a bachelor and that means quite a lot (laughter).
So now when I look at it, it’s like a dying city, it was vivacious,
full of life, social life I didn’t know Harare until I returned
from Ghana actually to join politics then I started knowing ma streets
and suburbs and even the suburbs we did not know very well because
the whites didn’t want you to move into the suburbs unless
you were servants and were working as domestic servants for them
or they would ask, the police “ini wena funa lapa?”
Anyway, Bulawayo is like
a dead city now, we must enliven it. We must bring back that capacity
which it had, industrial capacity it had and do much more and bring
back even that employment capability which it had. So we talk about
it, but this is not just because I stayed but also because it really
grew into a capital not just of the industries of our industries,
our industrial capital but it was also our railway capital, ndiko
kwakaiswa headquarters, also you have it much closer to Botswana,
much closer to South Africa, but Harare grew in faster strides and
kwakazouya Soweto to keep the natives away from the closeness of
Harare was getting too
congested. Highfield, Chitungwiza, what did I say? Soweto oh! Oh!
That was to be our Soweto and Chitungwiza and I think the population
of Chitungwiza now is much more than some of the smaller cities.
Smaller countries in Africa. The life there, the people couldn’t
drive the whole way into the main part of the city for employment.
Industrialisation could have started, we tried to do a few things
there, earlier on during the first 10 years for our independence,
20 years for our independence, a few companies were established,
but that was not enough, much more could have been done.
Anyway, this is our look.
Enliven production, activate it, reactivate it and to do that you
have to boost the productive sectors. Agriculture, in manufacturing,
commerce will result from what happens from other sectors, that’s
retail now, but there are tools that you need to regulate the system,
where shall the companies be. Well, the main city, main town, the
main areas of the city. But you can expand the commercial sector,
the best way of expanding it is really first expand one which requires
that you have residential areas first in certain parts of the country’s
suburban parts of the city, so you avoid concentration on the city
on the main part of the city and decentralise and you bring business
also to those areas and employment to those areas.
Then improvement of infrastructure,
communication systems have seen some start and will continue to
work on what has been begun so our communication systems, these
have seen some start, and we continue to work on what has been done
and our communication systems have become also enablers of industrialisation
or enablers of domestic life, enablers of our services, of schools,
hospitals and so on.
The communications we
have at the moment, you have areas where people have no telephones.
Now I don’t know how much of mobile systems have helped to
enhance our landed system. We have Econet; we have NetOne and Telecel.
We will look at them and see how far these have developed. Some
might need to be overhauled.
Roads, we have been very
slow in attending to our narrow roads. Once upon a time the Rhodesians,
I think they are the ones with the culture of these narrow little
things, they didn’t have the money to do tarred roads. So
from here to Bulawayo, you had strip roads just following where
the wheels the cars would move and you tarred those strips one to
the right one to the left hand side right up to Bulawayo like that.
In the middle part, no tar but just strip and just imagine the strain
it had on the driver, but that’s how it was before, but now
we have got rid of that and when they got rid of that was to patch
the middle part to tar that. And small, small roads. Just two lanes,
actually in some cases just no lanes, the two lanes don’t
exist, just narrow roads and the drivers must be particularly careful
and the numbers of accidents had to increase.
Keep right, keep left
of the road but you need bigger roads at least two lanes to the
left and two to the right so those who are coming one way and you
follow and there is no possibility of collision of vehicles unless
someone is drunk, which can happen of course, but the police are
there for those who take more than their fair share of the liquid.
But anyway some work
had started in this regard and we are happy. We have friends in
a number of companies who are offering to do that and we want to
do all our roads and even our streets should be redone and should
be kept up to standard. So our cities should have that look, attractive
look, facelift that we deserve as a country of a progressive nation.
Our people, of course, are the factor, the main factor. We are going
to do all this.
Yes we may get investors,
yes we may get experts, but it’s our people who must work
for themselves in all these regards. All that I have been talking
about must be done by our own people and what are they in terms
of their capacity, it means education of course and we are happy
at least we started well. The education institutions are there and
you look at them and see whether these institutions have been kept
abreast, in other words, to the things that are taught, have relevance
to the lives of the people. Is it an answer to our lives, does it
make us happier? Does it give us better skills than before? Open
our minds much more than before? Make us healthier than before?
Our institutions, service,
education and health we must attend to them. Diseases, are we educating
our youngsters seriously to look after themselves as they grow up?
What is the trust that we are giving to the eradication of some
of the diseases that are robbing us of our young people dying that
What can we do to prevent
that as we carry on with our education system and in its improved
manner? And when these skills are given to our people, do we then
enable our people to participate in industry, to participate in
activities that constitute the various programmes across and along
the policies that we enunciate for ourselves? Grand, grand skills,
therefore, for our people, but when all is said and done we must
have the resource.
I didn’t talk about
the mining sector. We will have to reorganise our mines. Our main
products, gold, diamond, platinum, coal, chromium, iron and ensure
that some real serious work is taking place not just scratches to
be taking place at the moment.
Look at Botswana; it’s
just a small country, sure. Perhaps not as well developed as we
are educationally, and in other respects, they have diamonds, they
have coal. But their diamonds are managed only by two huge companies
and both of them used to be mainly De Beers. MaJudah iwayo De Beers,
kuno uku vaiva neAnglo American, vanaOppenheimer from Johannesburg
ndivo vene vacho. Now they are headquartered in London. They thought
of leaving Johannesburg to headquarter themselves in London. I was
talking to President Khama the other day ku Malawi pataive ne Sadc
meeting ikoko, the last Sadc meeting, and he was telling me kuti
imi, you decided on 51 percent: 49 percent ratio in Zimbabwean whether
it’s Government having 51 percent foreigners 49 percent, isusu
we are kuma 80 percent and tinoti De Beers can take 17, 18 percent
chete. We noticed they were taking us for a ride, for a long, long
time we sat down and said enough is enough and so they did that
by way of taxation. When we say the investor can come nema foshoro
ake, no matter how sophisticated and how large, anongova mafoshoroka
chete, okucheresa wowana 49 percent.
In some cases,
the old law was zvaachera ndezvake kana iye ariye akavheneka ipapo
akaona kuti pane madiamods apa the claim was his, if he gets equipment
and comes and digs there that is his what he gets there and what
you get is pay to your workers who work there and what is charged
by the Ministry of Finance through taxes chete. Ah, achitakura upfumi
hwese ihwohwo? Imagine mazikomba anoiswa iwaya. What do you do to
replace that part of your earth, of your world which has been taken
away? Vana De Beers were kwaMarange uko tisati taziva vachitakura
huge, huge soil kuno tester ku South Africa alluvial diamonds. “Tichiri
kutester, tichiri kutester”, 10 years muchi tester? Zvino
tazovabata ndipopavakasiya kwavakutiza vosiyira ACR ndipo patakati
Government must take over. So you can see the amount of cheating?
No, you cannot allow that to happen, you are being deprived of wealth
that belongs to you. Even matumbu enyika yenyu haadzoki kana atakurwa.
You cannot manufacture rock anymore, soil anymore. And no we have
said, we can’t be cheated that way. Your economics is unacceptable,
the theory of economics that you preach kuti capital matters more
no, our resources matter much more. You bring your capital, what
is it? Mafoshoro iwayo? No matter how sophisticated, they are but
That part of digging
does not make you owners of the material that you take out of our
earth, matumbu enyika yedu. That is ours. To us that is fundamental.
Your capital is not as, to us, important as our own wealth. What
God gave us, which lies beneath, is treasurable. Is also not just
our own, we who are there now, it is a possession that should be
passed on as a legacy to future generations, ad infinitum, dakara
Armageddon panonzi nyika yaparara. Zvino we cannot deprive those
who will come many, many centuries after us of what they are entitled
to by nature. Imi muchiti mauya ne capital, nekamari kenyu ikako,
muchiti mauya necapital, it’s worth much more than that. Just
the value when you look at it, the value of this world, this earth
no matter how small that part of the world that is dug out is greater
than what you might think of. Your capital is not worth more than
our wealth therefore our contribution in any venture is what we
have. Uko zvainzi hapana zvamuri kuisa imi, kana muchida joint venture
motoisa wo capital. Kana musina tokuposhai mozodzora, ndizvo zvatakaramba
izvozvo. But you see in economics it can work where together you
begin a venture, you don’t have raw resources, you had to
get these raw resources from somewhere, but when we have raw resources,
no we refuse to accept that capital is worth much more than our
fixed assets. So that is why we say 51 percent, but ipapo zvichitoera
but va Khama vakanga vati kana muchida kuziva tinga tumire vedu
vakomana vagouya vozotaura nemi or you can send some people to us
we will discuss among ourselves and see what we can do in order
to get ideas of how they have been mining all along, but anyway
the principles are there. You are the owners, imi, but some of you
don’t think you are complete, you think in order to be complete
you need a white man next to you. Ah ini I think a white man next
to me diminishes the reality of what I think I am. The totality
of me. Your ownership of resources is inherent, is given you by
God, if you don’t believe in God, believe in nature. You were
born here, you own the soil, you own all that grows, all that lies
beneath those are the things we own that is what we believe and
varungu havade kunzwa izvozvo. Because if you were to go to West
Africa you get to a country, Gabon and others, France was given
the ownership of the oil resource kunzi ndeyenyu yese, you can mine
it and sell it isu mozotipawo a percentage and vanopa 12 percent
to 13 percent.
President Bashia was
telling kuti we had to kick out the Americans because of that. And
they got Chinese and Malaysians. Because they were giving them 15
percent thereabout, ivo votora the rest, 85 percent, that’s
exploitation, that’s theft by using crookish means, using
economics to steal the wealth of Africa, ah. Let’s reject
that. Anyway, that’s our thinking, zvinonzi vaMugabe vanofurira
vamwe. We are going to try and do our best initially and obviously
will do our best, we know we should look at our people first and
was talking of education and need for you to be healthy but look
at us our position now. People are unemployed we have got to try
and correct that and to correct it is to get into business, to get
people into business.
What I was saying provides
an answer, improving the industrial set-up, promoting agriculture,
building infrastructure, all these avenues that can provide employment.
But, of course, you need salaries. Vanhu vakamiririra masalaries,
VaMugabe vakati tozokupayi salary.
It’s true we feel
people have not been receiving what they are worth in public services.
And we will look at that in line with what we drew in order to ensure
that we organise the quick yielding sector of the country in agriculture
and mining and agriculture, you have to look at which sub-sector
can give us quicker returns. Mining diamonds, mining gold.
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