Zvamaida Murwira and Blessing Chidakwa
Two newly-appointed Cabinet ministers who were sworn in yesterday are eager to turnaround the economy by reviving the construction and information communication and technology industries, as well as ensuring affordable telecommunications tariffs.
Deputy ministers who were sworn in said their thrust would be to create jobs and deepen the provision of social services in line with Government’s Vision 2030.
The Cabinet ministers and deputies, who were predominantly youthful, took their oaths of office before the Head of State and Government, President Mnangagwa.
The introduction of youthful faces followed hints by the President during an interface with Zanu-PF youths that he would appoint more young people into Government.
President Mnangagwa divided into two the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to create a new ministry named National Housing and Social Amenities.
Newly-appointed National Housing and Social Amenities Minister Daniel Garwe said his ministry will focus on the construction of houses.
“The construction industry has been dormant because of the economic hardships the country is going through,” he said. “This is a service industry. People would first want food before they think of building.
“Our mandate is to turn around the economy and the construction industry plays a critical role in turning around the economy. Construction provides instant job creation and instant wealth creation and the employment is less reliant on technology and more on hard work.
“It is a hard-hat industry. It creates a massive amount of jobs. That is what we are going to push to ensure that our youths, women and everybody else gets employment.”
Minister Garwe said he will strive to bring order into housing cooperatives that have been building houses on sites without social amenities.
Incoming Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services Minister Dr Jenfan Muswere said: “Looking at the pre-budget seminar that we had in Victoria Falls, we were covering mainly the infrastructure aspects of ICTs which is line with the Transitional Stabilisation Programme”.
He said there was need to ensure that ICTs fulfilled the key pillars of the economy such as infrastructure, utilities, and governance.
“The basis of the entire mobile network operators and fixed telephone operators is to ensure their businesses are viable and also to ensure that we protect the consumers, the citizens of Zimbabwe,” said Dr Muswere.
His deputy, Cde Dingimuzi Phuti, said ICTs should drive industry in protecting intellectual property.
“ICT is the future,” he said. “If you check five listed top companies in the world, four of them are ICT. It poses, therefore, a challenge to the ministry to which l have been assigned and it will take a lot of learning from various stakeholders who are into it.”
Deputy Minister of Local Government and Public Works Cde Marian Chombo said: “You know there is a problem with water in local authorities. I will try to do my best and make a mark to ensure that Zimbabwe’s rural folk gets water and I will try my best to complement my minister.”
Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development Deputy Minister Raymore Machingura said he was “humbled by the appointment”, and looks forward to learning more from his Minister, Professor Amon Murwira,
to develop the country.
“The Minister (Prof Murwira) has a great vision of resuscitating our industry through Higher and Tertiary Education, so l will support him for that vision to be realised,” he said.
Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Deputy Minister Tinoda Machakaire said he felt “indebted to the President for showing confidence in me”.
“As a successful and youthful businessman, I feel that my appointment is a huge boost to Government’s resolve to fight corruption and empowering youths,” he said.
Other appointees include Cde David Musabayana, a former Minister of State for Mashonaland East Province, who was appointed Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Trade, and Cde Clemence Chiduwa, who becomes the Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development.