Former Information, Communication and Technology Minister Supa Mandiwanzira has been accused of bootlicking President Emmerson Mnangagwa by showering praises on him during his contribution yesterday to the President’s State of the Nation Address.
Was Mandiwanzira bootlicking? Here is what he said:
HON. MANDIWANZIRA: Thank you Madam Speaker for allowing me to contribute to the motion on the State of the Nation address by His Excellency the President, Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa. I would like to thank Hon. Mutambisi who raised the motion as well as Hon. T. Moyo who seconded the motion.
By just listening to His Excellency’s address, you cannot miss the clarity, vision, trajectory and the progress that the country is on under the New Dispensation. Clearly, the address by His Excellency demonstrated the Government’s commitment and serious determination for economic progress. Not only was the statement powerful in itself but it also had many examples of real milestones that the Government has achieved in taking the country forward, that the majority of the people in here would agree with me that we are moving from one point to another on an uphill trajectory.
I would like to first of all, in terms of the content, applaud His Excellency for highlighting the import substitution strategy as well as the local content policy. I believe this is an important area if we are going to see more development in our country and by highlighting it, His Excellency was very clear that this is the direction that we need to go; that we must see more local products that are being made by locals on the supermarket shelves. I believe that Zimbabweans in the private sector, politically active and non-politically active, if we unite in supporting this policy by the President, we can achieve far much more.
Madam Speaker, I would also like to take this opportunity to call upon the Government to support an aggressive implementation of this policy. Not only can we achieve success economically but we can substitute imports or substitute the exportation of dividends by ensuring that a lot of the products are being made locally. I am going to give you an example; I am a Member of Parliament for Nyanga South Constituency and in Nyanga South, we have some of the most attractive tourist destinations, among them the Troutbeck Resort and Montclair. I am sure most Hon. Members of Parliament have been there and enjoyed the hospitality. However, when you walk in there, they will give you water coming from Harare, purified Harare water, yet you will be in an area which probably has the most amount of natural springs in the country. Those natural springs produce pure water that has export value.
I believe that the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, through the budget process, must make available resources for the importation of machinery for water bottling for every district that has those springs. How do we help the economy by doing that? We have a lot of big investors who have come from outside the country to bottle our water so we can drink it. They purify our Harare water, they sell it to us, when they get their profits, they change the money and ship those profits outside the country yet we can employ our young Zimbabweans in Nyanga and many other districts where we have water to produce water for consumption by Zimbabweans. I am sure we have water in every district.
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