Ending poverty our priority: Dr Manyika. . . We will devolve the presidency

Norman Muchemwa
Dr Noah Manyika, president of Build Zimbabwe Alliance (BZA), hopes to form the next Government after the July 30 polls.

He has said his administration will concentrate on extricating the bulk of Zimbabweans, especially those living in rural areas, from poverty.

Therefore, BZA, which was formed in 2016, will focus on developing the economy to improve the lives of marginalised groups.

Dr Manyika is among the 23 people who recently successfully filed their papers at the Nomination Court to contest in the forthcoming elections.

In an interview with The Sunday Mail last week, Dr Manyika said his administration will be “obsessed with winning the war on poverty”.

“The Build Zimbabwe Alliance and my presidency will be really obsessed with the whole issue of winning the war on poverty.

“If we do not directly address issues affecting our nation, especially rural communities, then we would be doing nothing.

“The majority of Zimbabweans are women and children, they bear the brunt of poverty. We will make sure their welfare is our priority,” said Dr Manyika.

“We have the technical capacity to create an integrated economy. Rural areas will be our major priority. We are going to develop irrigation systems in those areas since Zimbabwe has the second highest number of water bodies, second to South Africa. This will help transform our economy, which is agro-based.

“Road networks in rural areas also need to be capacitated so that goods can easily access markets without any difficulties. We are going to do a lot in changing the lives of women and children. We are going to make sure there is infrastructure that will integrate them into the mainstream economy,” he said.

Unity among Zimbabweans, Dr Manyika said, is crucial in building the country. “To be able to deliver on our promises, there is need to work towards bringing all Zimbabweans together. That is going to be a big challenge for whoever is going to win this election. If I am elected and fail to bring the people together, then ultimately I won’t be able to deliver.”

He, however, believes that he has a unique way of bringing the presidency to the people.
“We are going to have a devolution of the Presidency, just to make sure the President starts going on these provincial one-week working visits to the provincial offices. We are going to do that as soon as we are in office.”

“You don’t just devolve the presidency to attract investment to provinces, you also make sure that you have a business plan in those provinces so that you empower people in the province,” he said.

BZA also plans to create provincial business engagement teams to implement radical business recovery and development plans for each of the country’s 10 provinces.
“We need to promulgate the policy of one district, one factory and I think it’s a very smart idea to decentralise. Every district in Zimbabwe has a competitive advantage in terms of natural resources, so the idea of one district, one factory will decentralise industrialisation,” he added.

BZA says it will cut the size of Cabinet ministers to 15, retain only one Vice President and significantly trim the number of legislators.
In addition, it has pledged to aggressively defend Constitutional rights and liberties without fear or favour.

Dr Manyika said there is need to ensure discipline in the financial services sector in order to solve the current cash crisis.

“We should not solve the cash crisis by printing more money. There is need for concerted efforts to address the rule of law. Influx of cash on the streets is a sign that something is wrong in the system. We have to create an environment that brings confidence to investors. A good public policy space is needed in order for us to have cash in the system,” he said.
But Dr Manyika acknowledged that winning the elections will not be a stroll in the park.

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