Politicians should put the country first ahead of their personal interests and intensify national dialogue aimed at finding solutions to the country’s challenges, Presidential Advisory Council facilitator Mr Joe Mutizwa has said.
Mr Mutizwa said this yesterday at State House during the council’s inaugural meeting convened by President Mnangagwa.
He said the work of the recently established council would be greatly enhanced if Zimbabweans are united, dovetailing into President Mnangagwa’s push for a broad-based national dialogue that has involved major key stakeholders in the country, including the church, students, civil society and business.
“Your Excellency, this appeal is made having cognisance of the calamities that face our country in the form of economic hardships compounded by the severe drought and the onslaught of international sanctions,” he said.
Mr Mutizwa said it was important that leaders at all levels realised that turning around the fortunes of Zimbabwe required sacrifice from top to bottom.
“There may be quick wins but there will be no silver bullets or magic wands nor will there be miracle resurrections. There will be pain and suffering but it must be shared equitably across all levels of society,” said Mr Mutizwa.
Speaking at the same occasion, Alpha Media Holdings chairman Mr Trevor Ncube said there was need to put political differences aside and work towards building the country.
Mr Ncube said he would work towards ending polarisation in the media.
“Within that crisis of expectation, our country is polarised and we cannot build when we are divided, as somebody who is coming from the media I see the polarisation and division in our society projected in our media,” he said.
“I am hoping that my role in the PAC would be in nurturing and helping to build a media that contributes to national unity. Democracy can be ugly and messy, we do have different views but we only have one country, our role is to work towards the upliftment of that country.
“We cannot work and build in this toxic environment, the public and private media should stop being activist and work towards uniting our country.”
Another member, Ms Elisa Ravengai, said she will represent the interests of people with disabilities whom she said wanted empowerment.
“In Zimbabwe and the world over, disability has been treated as a charity issue where persons with disabilities are relegated to perpetual objects of pity. The medical approach sees rehabilitation as an end in itself although social welfare and medical interventions are very important,”
She called for alignment of laws to do with disabilities.
Industrialist Mr Busisa Moyo said there was need to for new technology for industry to flourish.
“The flow of information is still a big challenge in our country and so we will need to look into that,” said Mr Moyo.
Renowned banker Mr Zondo Sakala said it was important to realise that most projects had long gestation periods and required discipline and patience.
Others who addressed the gathering were Dr Nobert Mugwagwa and agriculturalist Dr Lindiwe Sibanda.
The advisory council comprises experts and leaders drawn from diverse sectors like business, health and social protection, agriculture, governance and human rights, faith-based organisations, tourism, education, minorities, ICT, civic society, communication and media management.
Other members Sakunda Holdings chief executive Mr Kudakwashe Tagwirei and Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) president Divine Ndhlukula (business); Agribank chief executive Mr Somkhosi Malaba and Africa Next chief executive Mr Lewis Musasike (financial services); Dr Godfrey Sikipa (health and social protection); Remigius Makumbe, Simbarashe Mangwende (infrastructure).
Other members are Natalie Jabangwe (ICT); Mr Aenias Chuma, seasoned lawyer Mr Edwin Manikai (governance and human rights); Professors Kuzvinetsa Dzvimbo and Robson Mafoti (education), Mr Herbert Nkala, Dr Shingi Munyeza (both from tourism) and Janah Ncube (civic society).
The minorities will be represented by CABS managing director Mr Simmon Hammond and Zimbabwe Investment Authority chairman Mr Richard Wilde