Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is just a few days shy of marking his first 100 days in office, over the weekend outlined some of his new administration’s achievements and promised more reforms to improve the economy.
Mnangagwa, who took over from former president Robert Mugabe on Nov. 24, following military intervention, said in an audio message posted on social media that the task ahead needed concerted effort from everyone.
It would take time before the fruits of reforms could be harvested, he said.
Mnangagwa said the government passed a bold and responsible budget that cuts unnecessary expenditure, including luxuries previously enjoyed by high-ranking public officials.
The new administration has scaled down the indigenization law to make it only applicable to investments in diamond and platinum mining, as it seeks to attract more foreign direct investment, he said.
Prior to his taking over from Mugabe, the law required indigenous Zimbabweans to have majority ownership across most sectors of the economy; a situation foreign investors frowned upon.
“On corruption, the phrase zero tolerance approach has been backed up by action,” he said. “We instituted a three-month amnesty to get back stolen funds, mandated all cabinet ministers to declare assets, created dedicated anti-corruption courts in all provinces and clamped down on police roadblocks.”
“Internationally, we have been working hard to build our international relations and bring in investment and so far we have secured 3 billion U.S. dollars worth of investment commitments from some of the biggest companies in the world.”
Mnangagwa added that the government had directed all public health institutions to scrap treatment fees for vulnerable groups, including children under the age of five, pregnant women and senior citizens above 65 years.
He said the government had also facilitated greater use of mobile money to combat the cash crisis and cut excise duty on petrol, which resulted in the reduction of fuel prices.
“We must of course be realistic and recognize that it takes more than 100 days to recover an economy,” he said. “Real change takes time.”
“I know there are those among you who are frustrated at the pace of change and I understand that, but let me assure you that though we have had some major achievements, this is just the beginning.
“After 100 days of action we are on the right path and will keep working to increase that pace of reform,” Mnangagwa said.
Zimbabwe is due to hold presidential and general elections later this year, but no specific date has been set.