President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said Zimbabwe has been the fastest-growing economy in the Southern African region in the last three years.
Addressing the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA78) in New York on Thursday afternoon (Central African Time), Mnangagwa said the country has continued to register “unprecedented development and economic success” in the past few years. He said:
"We are recording unprecedented development and economic success milestones. For the last three years, our country has been the fastest-growing economy in our Southern African region.
Further, Zimbabwe is prioritizing the eradication of poverty and improving the quality of life of our people, particularly, those in rural areas.
The empowerment and capacitation of communal and small-scale farmers have seen us realise food and nutrition security at both household and national levels.
With effect from this year, our country will become a net exporter of wheat."
This is despite the majority of Zimbabweans living below the poverty datum line and civil servants being paid far less than what they were getting before October 2018.
Mnangagwa also claimed that his administration has built “an unprecedented number of schools, and clinics” despite an acute shortage of medicines in public health centres and the emigration of nurses and doctors in large numbers in recent years.
Moreover, Zimbabwe has a deficit of around 10 000 schools and its teachers are poorly remunerated and those who dare to strike for better wages are victimised. Said Mnangagwa:
"Zimbabwe has not been spared from the negative impact of climate change. Hence, my Government continues to make the requisite investment in infrastructure to mitigate and build resilience towards climate change adaptation. Dams are being built across the country.
In addition, we have begun an ambitious and yet achievable programme to sink solar powered boreholes in each of our country’s 35 000 rural villages and schools.
Alongside each of these water points are commercial nutritional gardens for the empowerment of women and youth.
Through the use of our own resources, we have constructed an unprecedented number of schools, clinics and provided other social amenities, throughout our communities."
Mnangagwa expressed sympathy to the Governments and peoples of Morocco and Libya following the death of thousands of people due to an earthquake and floods, respectively.
He also called for concrete climate action to be taken to mitigate the effects of climate change.