January 16, 2020

Why President Mnangagwa is on leave but working

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Takudzwa Chihambakwe

Zimbabwean president Emmerson Mnangagwa has explained why he is performing some official duties despite being on his annual leave.

President Mnangagwa, who this morning toured a laptop assembling plant at Telone’s Msasa factory in Harare, said he is just answering a call to duty.

 “I did not want to come here because I am on leave. But, the Chief Secretary (Dr Misheck Sibanda) insisted that I should come and see this establishment saying it needs the support of government. After touring the facility, I must say I am happy.

“I also informed the Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, who is the acting President now, that I wish (he) could accompany me to see this innovation. I don’t think he is regretting, because as we were walking around we said this is what we should have done many years ago,” he said.

The plant which currently produces 50 000 laptops per year is a culmination of a process which started back in 2018 and saw Telone getting into partnerships with various local and international partners to form a company called Zimbabwe Information Technology Company (ZITCO).

The company produces laptops, desktops and tablets. 

“ICT is the way to go. We need to mordernise our economy. We need to catch up with the rest of the world. To do so we do not need to reinvent the wheel. We need to access technologies from those countries willing to engage with us and China is one of them,” said President Mnangagwa.

The President also called on Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube to ensure that the ICT sector continues to get investment.

 “Professor, this is where you should put your money. As this entity grows it will deal with the local market but with time it will start serving the external market, earning you the foreign currency you need.

“But for them to do so, they need initially to be supported by us. When we toured the plant I saw young men and women doing things that we usually see being done in other countries and that technology is now here in Msasa, Harare – it is fantastic, this is what we want,” he said.

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