Acting President Joice Mujuru today called on Zimbabweans to embrace the country's new economic blueprint, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Social and Economic Transformation (ZIMASSET), that has been criticized as unworkable by labour, opposition parties and economists.
Officiating at the burial of national hero, Brigadier General John Zingoni at the National Heroes Acre, Mrs. Mujuru said she is convinced ZIMASSET will pull Zimbabwe out of its current economic problems.
She said this can only be achieved if all Zimbabweans participate in the economic recovery program.
The country's main labor body, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change party led by Morgan Tsvangirai and some local economists, have criticized ZIMASSET saying there is nothing in the blueprint that will boost the country's economic fortunes.
Mujuru, who stood in for President Robert Mugabe who is away in Singapore for what the state claims is an eye treatment, said a good yield recorded in this year's agricultural season was also a sign that the economy is set to grow.
Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo said Mr. Mugabe, who single-handedly declared Zingoni a national hero during his absence, was expected back in the country last night or on Wednesday.
By the time of going on air, the head of state and commander-in-chief of the Zimbabwe defense forces had not yet arrived in the country after a week-long absence.
Mr. Mugabe and his wife, Grace, were this week captured on video arriving at a hospital in Singapore by British television's Channel 4.
On Workers' Day, thousands of workers who attended the ZCTU’s main celebrations in Zimbabwe heckled a senior official in the labor ministry, Peter Mufuratirwa, who had spoken highly of the economic blueprint.
Some economic analysts blame the chaotic land reforms implemented by the Zanu PF government from 2000 for the country's economic downturn while President Mugabe and his party blame the West's restrictive measures on him and his inner circle.
Turning to the deceased, the vice president said it was disturbing to note that the majority of those who played crucial roles in the liberation war were passing on.
A representative of the Zingoni family, Kenny Zingoni, said his entire family was saddened by his brother's death.
The late Brigadier General Zingoni died on Friday after succumbing to a heart ailment.
He was born on August 1954 in the Mapanzure area of Masvingo province. He left his employment in 1976 to join other liberation fighters in Mozambique where he was under the leadership of current Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri.
After the war, he underwent several military training programs in countries like Korea and Nigeria. He was attested into the Zimbabwe National Army where he rose to become brigadier general, a position he held until the time of his death.
In 2000, he was appointed director of operations at the Southern African Development Community Taskforce headquarters in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The late Brigadier General Zingoni is survived by his wife Wadzanai, and three children.