President Robert Mugabe says his new administration will prioritise the financing of newly resettled farmers and the resuscitation of closed industries to improve the country’s ailing economy.
In his first address after swearing in cabinet ministers Wednesday, Mr. Mugabe said his government will ensure that new farmers have access to credit facilities as they aim to increase the country’s productive capacity in the agricultural sector.
Zanu PF accused former Finance Minister Tendai Biti of the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Morgan Tsvangirai of failing to create policies to support the country’s agriculture – a charge the MDC-T denied.
Following the then Zanu PF government’s land grabs in 2000, resettled farmers have not had access to bank loans because the new agronomists offered no collateral to financial institutions. As a result, the growers failed to utilize the land because they had no adequate inputs and agricultural knowledge.
Mr. Mugabe said his new administration will also work with speed to revive industries in the second largest city of Bulawayo with a view to create employment and improve the country’s industrial capacity.
Dealing with problems affecting the National Railways of Zimbabwe is another key issue that needs to be dealt with to enable industrial companies in Bulawayo to transport raw materials, said President Mugabe.
The president’s utterances on Bulawayo industries is a major climb-down after he declared three weeks ago that residents of Bulawayo and Harare should go to the MDC-T for developmental support since the two cities rejected his party in the July 31 polls.
Economists say Zimbabwe’s economy took a turn for the worse when Zanu PF embarked on chaotic land reforms in 2000 that displaced hundreds of former white commercial farmers and thousands of their farm workers.
The economic meltdown resulted in several industries closing shop.