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Mnangagwa out to impress Sadc leaders

by Staff reporter
27 Mar 2024 at 06:46hrs | Views
President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his government are renovating several roads in Harare as part of preparations to host the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) summit in the capital in August and impress regional heads of state and government.

This comes after Sadc rejected Mnangagwa's fraudulent re-election in August last year amid manipulation, electoral fraud and massive voter suppression.

Many leaders boycotted his inauguration, leaving him further isolated in the region.

Regional leaders firmly had Mnangagwa on the ropes, but Zimbabwe’s opposition CCC, now in a meltdown, failed to capitalise on the situation.

Sadc's move left Zimbabwe in a diplomatic conundrum amid a face-off with Zambia, a problem Harare wants to resolve through the summit.

Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema held Mnangagwa on the hook through the Sadc election observer mission to Zimbabwe led by fearless Lusaka-based opposition leader Nevers Mumba, forcing Sadc leaders to hold extraordinary meetings on the crisis.

They endorsed the Sadc election observer mission report, rejecting the polls outcome.

Zimbabwe's fractured, divided and weak opposition allowed Mnangagwa to get away with it.

The summit, which Mnangagwa will use to rehabilitate himself and restore legitimacy among his peers, is a major priority for Harare and its leaders keen to show that Zimbabwe is not as bad often portrayed, now or a basket case.

Millions of Zimbabwean have fled the country into several neighbouring states due to political and socio-economic problems at home.

This has seriously burdened Sadc countries, particularly South Africa which houses millions of Zimbabweans.

Mnangagwa will assume the Sadc chair for a year on 17 August in Harare, effectively wriggling off the hook.

Artificial preparations, with glitz and glamour in some areas, are underway to impress regional guests and make Mnangagwa look good.

Roads in Harare are seen as one big area to impress the visitors.

That is why a number of selected roads from the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport to the city centre and access roads leading to the main routes to the New Parliament are being rehabilitated.

The Sadc meeting will be hosted at New Parliament Building in the New City at Mt. Hampden where a lot of work is already done to make the place look impressive and woodwink visitors into thinking Zimbabwe is currently on a recovery path, when in fact the situation is actually worsening after the elections.

At a post-cabinet media briefing yesterday, delivered by Information minister Jenfan Muswere, government let the cat out of the bag:

"Cabinet considered and adopted the update report on preparations for the 44th Session of the SADC Summit, which was presented by the Honourable Vice-President, General (Rtd.) Dr. C.G.D.N. Chiwenga as Chairperson of the Inter-Ministerial Task Force on SADC Summit Preparations.

Zimbabwe will host the 44th SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government and assume the Chairmanship of SADC on 17th August, 2024.

The Summit will be hosted at the New Parliament Building in the New City at Mt. Hampden. The nation is advised that a week prior to the Summit, the country will host the SADC Industrialisation Week.

The Vice President, Honourable General (Rtd.) Dr. C.G.D.N. Chiwengwa is coordinating the preparations for hosting the Summit. Accordingly, three (3) Inter-Ministerial Committees, embracing all relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies, were established to spearhead the preparations. The Committees are as follows: (a) Sub-Committee on  Finance and Agreement, which is responsible for overseeing the financing of the whole preparatory programme (b) Sub-Committee on Construction, to develop the requisite hosting facilities and the enabling infrastructure;

and (c) Sub-Committee on Communication, Brand Promotion and Publicity, which is responsible for disseminating information about Zimbabwe’s hosting of the SADC Summit and manage SADC monitoring and evaluation visits relating to the preparedness of the country to host the SADC Summit.

In terms of preparations for the Summit, the Government of Zimbabwe has put in place measures to provide accommodation for all guests and participants.

Landscaping, rehabilitation and construction of access roads to the venue of the Summit are ongoing.

The landscaping works are 58% complete, while the civil works are 67% complete. The Public Works Department is constructing a 2.8 mega litre water tank which is expected to be completed by June 2024. Meanwhile, the City of Harare is installing bio-digesters for managing waste-water. The Municipality will also repair and upgrade traffic signals at key intersections on routes leading to the SADC Summit venue and hotels to be utilized by delegates around the City, as well as ensuring that street lights are working.

In terms of rehabilitation of main access roads, Cabinet informs the nation that three (3) main packages under this programme which are being undertaken are as follows: (a) the Harare-Chirundu Section from Julius Nyerere Street to 2nd Street-Lomagundi Road to Westgate Traffic Circle;  the Harare-Kanyemba Section from Harare Drive to intersection with the New Parliament Boulevard; and (c) the New Parliament Boulevard, New Parliament Loop Road, Access Roads and Old Mazowe Road. In addition, a number of selected roads from the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport to the City Centre and the access roads leading to the main access roads to the New Parliament, are being rehabilitated.

The nation is further informed that the Ministry of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services is coordinating provision of infrastructure to meet SADC Information Communication Technology requirements and facilitate a seamless flow of meetings and sessions during the Summit."

Even if Zimbabwe impresses visitors in August, the truth and facts will not change showing the economy has been ruined by decades of damaging economic mismanagement and impoverished by leadership, governance and policy failures, as well as corruption.

No facade of economic recovery or whitewash can cover up the extensive damage on the country and the reality.

Source - newshawks