AFTER setbacks spawned by Covid-19 last year, 2021 promises to be a year of progress as it begins today against the backdrop of a good rainy season, prospects of a vaccine against the global plague and unprecedented economic and infrastructural development, the President has said.
In his End of Year message to the nation at State House in Harare yesterday, according to the State media, President Mnangagwa said 2021 was a year to remain focused as the country moves towards Vision 2030 to be an upper middle class economy.
“Now is the time to press our foot on the pedal and confidently move forward undeterred, to modernise and industrialise our country towards Vision 2030.
“As outlined in our National Budget and the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1), our ambitions for 2021 are bold and to realise them, we must be united. With the optimism of plentiful rainfall and promising news of a vaccine against the pandemic, 2021 must be a year of progress, development and making up for lost time,” said the President.
“As a result of our collective, hard honest work and unshakable loyalty to our national interest, there is abundant evidence that we are indeed masters of our destiny.”
Reflecting on 2020, the President saluted Zimbabweans — both in the country and abroad — for their resilience and adapting to the new normal spawned by Covid-19.
“As your President and on behalf of the Government of Zimbabwe, I salute the people of our great country, both at home and abroad, for their resilience, perseverance, focus, unity of purpose and adaptiveness in the face of the prevailing Covid-19 ‘new normal.’ I further applaud all stakeholders, including traditional and religious leaders, community-based organisations, local authorities and political parties, for mobilising our communities such as the fight against the Covid-19 pandemics, national prayer and fasting and Pfumvudza/Intwasa,” said President Mnangagwa.
“To our fellow citizens in the diaspora, we are grateful to you for the continued support rendered to your families here back home, even under the difficult and constrained circumstances of the year. We are also thankful to various Governments, development partners and the international community who stood in solidarity with us.”
Throughout the year, said President Mnangagwa, he was proud of Zimbabweans who remained disciplined in the face of adversity.
“You were responsible, you were peaceful and united. And through your actions, thousands of lives were saved. It is my profound hope that we carry with us this spirit of commitment and unity into the New Year and beyond. Equally, may the events of the 2020 always remind us that we are all bonded together as diverse, but one people, united by one Flag and one National Anthem,” said President Mnangagwa.
He chronicled several developmental projects and reforms registered in the year by the Government.
They include setting up and operationalising the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (ZIDA) , granting Victoria Falls city status, rolling out devolution and decentralisation policy, implementation of the Heritage based Education 5.0 among other achievements.
“The media reform agenda also took huge steps which resulted in the issuance of new national commercial television licenses by the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe and the first campus radio station at Great Zimbabwe University,” he said.
President Mnangagwa also noted the repeal of Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act through the enactment of Freedom of Information Act, appointment of Zimbabwe Media Commissioners into office and resuscitation of the Zimbabwe Mass Media Trust.