Speaking after joining Banket residents in a clean-up of Kuwadzana Shopping Centre in the town, he said students will be exposed to modern science so that they develop inventions that develop the economy. Already over 90 patents have been granted to local students since the introduction of innovation hubs at State universities two years ago and he said the inventions would result in an increase in locally produced products.
Innovation hubs, which are a brainchild of President Mnangagwa, provide a platform for innovators and researchers to develop their inventions up to prototypes with the aid of experienced staff in the area of technical skills development, entrepreneurship and business incubation.
Zimbabweans had the capacity to overcome the effects of the illegal sanctions if they united towards a common goal and vision.
“We introduced innovation hubs at our universities. In the past 18 months that we have so far after introducing these innovation hubs, we now have over 90 patents or inventions done by our children,” said President Mnangagwa.
“We thank them for that. We have brilliant boys and girls in this country. Going forward, we can see that our country is going to be transformed by inventions by our children and skills from our children. We are a developing country but we should not cry that we have sanctions imposed on us. We should look at what God has given us and develop our country. Those who want to come and assist us, they should do so on our own terms.
“We don’t want them to come and lecture us or rule us. They should rule their countries and we rule ours. This is our country. To you the school children, we will do our best as Government to make sure you are exposed to modern science and technologies because the future of this country lies in science and technology, in yourselves creating employment, jobs and products and services for the nation. The future is upon you. It’s your duty to develop our country for it to be at par with other countries.”
President Mnangagwa said unity was the major catalyst for national development, adding that challenges are there and every country has its own.
He said even though Zimbabwe was slapped with illegal sanctions by the West, the country will still develop if citizens united and shun violence. “We don’t want people with a spirit of violence. Even God wants to see his people living in peace. If you see a church that preaches violence do not go to that church again. Churches should preach peace and unity.”
President Mnangagwa said Government had declared 2020 the year of productivity and trade, adding that Government will continue with the engagement and re-engagement drive with all countries of the world.
The President said following two consecutive years of drought, water levels in Kariba Dam had dropped thereby reducing power generation capacity from 1 050MW to 100MW.
“Due to climate change, we are already implementing other projects such as solar and thermal to avert load shedding,” he said.
Turning to the clean-up exercise, President Mnangagwa said Government would soon strengthen anti-litter laws to ensure a clean environment. The clean-up campaign was a national programme not meant to clean cities and towns alone.
The President said companies should contribute towards a clean environment through buying litter bins for their localities.
At Mahusekwa Growth Point in Mashonaland East, hundreds of villagers from surrounding communities took part in the clean-up. In a speech read on his behalf by the Minister of State in his office Dr Evelyn Ndlovu, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga commended the villagers for cleanliness at the growth point.
“I would like to thank you all for continuing to show team spirit by continuously cleaning your environment,” he said. VP Chiwenga said this year, the monthly clean-up exercise will focus on smaller towns and other outlying areas.
“Over this past year, the national clean-up programme has been concentrated around cities. However, 2020 is a year with a difference as we are focusing on small towns, rural business centres, growth points so that no one is left behind,” he added.
At the Simon Muzenda Street Bus Terminus in Harare, Defence and War Veterans Affairs Affairs Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri said: “Our constitution is very clear and very explicit that we want to keep our environment very clean for our benefit as a current generation, but also we need to keep that environment clean for future generations.
“We are very happy that our President Cde Mnangagwa is a lawyer and takes the issue of constitutionalism seriously. That is why he is taking the lead to ensure that we clean our environment. This will ensure that we breathe clean air and also we will enjoy clean water. So it is important to know that an environment which is clean guarantees people good health.”