By Staff Reporter
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa Wednesday skipped the thorny sacking of striking nurses by his government on Tuesday in his first Independence Day speech since becoming President November last year.
In an address to a packed National Sports Stadium which included MDC Alliance leaders led by Nelson Chamisa, Mnangagwa dedicated much of his speech to outlining steps taken by his new administration so far in reversing years of economic decay under his predecessor Robert Mugabe.
These, he said, included steps to stamp out corruption which is rife in the public sector, trimming a runner-away government expenditure and putting up an all out attempt to woo investors back to the country.
Mnangagwa said his charm offensive was yielding results as shown by the amount of renewed interest directed on the once pariah state by the broader world.
But as he took time to enunciate his government’s achievements, the President said less, if none, about renewed challenges buffeting his fledgling administration, something that as seen the shock sacking of striking nurses by Vice President Constantino Chiwenga on the eve of the nation’s 38th Independence Day anniversary.
All the President could say was that his government was committed to “revitalising the social services with a focus on the health delivery system”.
“In this regard, we increased the Ministry of Health and Child Care operational budget by 66 percent in 2018 and we will continue to facilitate the construction of more hospitals, ensure the availability of drugs and the presence of qualified and dedicated health service personnel,” he said.
President Mnangagwa urged patience among Zimbabwean workers as his government strove to ensure its economic recovery measures came to fruition.
“To all workers, I appeal for a new work ethic characterised by determination and honesty,” he said.
“We are cognisant of the plight of public servants and we remain committed to improving their terms of service while urging them to continue to exercise patience as we grow our economy’s capacity to generate the much needed resources.”
The sacking of nurses by the Mnangagwa government has received wide condemnation among citizens and Zanu PF opponents with questions raised over the new administration’s commitment to observing the rights of workers.