Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said Zimbabwe cannot continue to work in isolation and expressed willingness to end frosty relations with the West in another major Zanu PF government U-turn as the country’s economy continues on a downward spiral.

 

Mnangagwa made the remarks in Mutare yesterday during the commissioning of a $9,10 million Africa Development Bank (AfDB)-funded water reservoir where he also said voters have the right to demand the fulfillment of pledges made by politicians during election campaigns.

“I was pleased by the Minister of Finance (Patrick Chinamasa)’s plea to co-operate with partners here present for further support. There is a time during the colonial days when we all wanted to cause institutional dysfunction because we wanted independence. But now we are independent, we would like to bury the past and walk through the future,” Mnangagwa said.

“We cannot remain isolated, we wish to engage the international community and also be part and parcel of the forward-looking international community.”
He acknowledged vast contributions made by Western countries towards the success of the water project.

Diplomats from seven Western nations — namely Australia, Germany, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Switzerland — attended the commissioning ceremony. AfDB allocated $43,1 million to the Zimfund Phase I of the urgent water supply and sanitation rehabilitation project, which was designed to cover urgent rehabilitation works to the water supply and sanitation system in Harare, Chegutu, Chitungwiza, Masvingo, Kwekwe and Mutare.

Mnangagwa said voters should demand that their leaders fulfil their election campaign promises.

‘’It is true that my colleagues, including me, during our election campaigns we promise you everything. We promise you adequate medicine, to improve our roads then you will vote for us, so that is good,” said Mnangagwa.

“But it is also important for you to demand these things. Therefore, I want you to pay for the services you receive so that you can get good service
delivery.”

In the 2013 elections which Zanu PF won resoundingly, the ruling party, just like in the 2005 and 2008 polls, promised government would build 1,25 million houses to clear the national housing backlog.

The promise has however to date remained a pipe dream as no tangible housing projects have taken place.

In its 2013 election manifesto, Zanu PF also promised to create 2,2 million jobs over the next five years by unlocking value from idle assets worth at least $1,8 trillion of mineral claims or reserves.

The promised jobs have not materialised as more companies continue to close due to viability problems, while the country’s infrastructure is fast collapsing like a deck of cards.

Speaking at the same event, Chinamasa pleaded with Western countries to increase their developmental assistance.

“We value the support of countries that have been assisting us. I hope you will continue with the good working relationship, something I recognised since the start of my tenure as Minister of Finance,” he said.

“This is necessary, given we are unable to meet these challenges because of budgetary constraints. I want to thank those countries that have been contributing and I hope you are going to scale up the contributions.”

Other officials who attended the event included Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment minister Chris Mushohwe, Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister Mandi Chimene, Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo, and Environment, Water and Climate Change minister Saviour Kasukuwere.