Conrad Mupesa Mashonaland West Bureau
Speaker of Parliament, Advocate Jacob Mudenda has challenged Zimbabweans to hold Parliament and Government ministries accountable in order to avoid unnecessary loss of foreign currency through imports of things that can be manufactured locally.
Adv Mudenda said this during his interface with representatives of tertiary education institutions from across the province at Chinhoyi University Technology Hotel during a public outreach programme for the same institutions.
He said at least US$20 billion had been spent on imports between 2014 to 2018 and most of the imports could be produced locally.
“We have tomatoes and potatoes that are rotting in Murehwa and Mutoko and at Mbare Musika, but we have the audacity to order potatoes and other vegetables from South Africa,” he said.
“Now, Parliament must exercise its right and bring the Ministry of Industry to account because Section 13 says all agencies of government are accountable to Parliament’.”
“This cannot continue to happen. On that list of imports we also have toothpicks imported from China when we have appropriate wood stocks, and CUT has the technology to make toothpicks, you just need a small machine to sharpen the wood to make the toothpicks.
“Hold your Parliament to account and ensure that it has oversights on these nonsensical imports,” said Advocate Mudenda.
He urged universities to heed President Mnangagwa’s call for them to use their resources and manpower to develop and use education 5,0 for innovations and inventions to accelerate the modernisation and development of robust industry systems and provide solutions to the challenges threatening the Second Republic’s modernisation agenda.
“However, in order for tertiary institutions and the academia to fully conceptualise the tenet of Education 5.0, cognisance must be taken of the historical antecedents pronounced by our Regional SADC leaders in their “Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan” of 2003 as read together with the “SADC Protocol On Science, Technology and Innovation”.
“The same concept was adopted by China since 1975 when China was then poorer than Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) but, today China is the leading economy in the world ahead of the United States of America in terms of the Power Purchasing Parity where China is at US$24 trillion GDP while the United States is at US$20 trillion GDP.”
He also called on agricultural colleges in the province to create synergies with Chinhoyi University of Technology which has enrolled an auspicious cattle breeding project with the capability of improving the country’s herd.
Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development Minister, Professor Amon Murwira said there were a number of legal framework improvements that the ministry was pursuing ,including streamlining the Universities Acts and the Manpower Planning and Development Bill and the Centre for Education, Innovation Research and Development Bill.
“The Centre for Education, Innovation Research and Development Bill is a typical super innovation and industrialisation enabler which facilitates commissioned innovation, research and development activities for industrialisation by top scientists . . .
“It also aims to foster high quality education, innovation, research and development in strategically important sectors to the economy and society of Zimbabwe,” he said.
Mashonaland West Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Mary Mliswa-Chikoka applauded Advocate Mudenda for taking Parliament to the people. Advocate Mudenda later toured CUT projects.