HARARE, Dec 4 — President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe says the ruling Zanu PF party must pursue and effectively implement policies which ensure continued growth of the economy and improvement of the socio-economic conditions of the majority.

Addressing the party’s highest decision-making body, the Central Committee here Wednesday, he added that as a sovereign and independent country, Zimbabwe was slowly working towards total and full control of the economy and resources for the benefit of its people through a number of programmes.

The central committee met ahead of the party’s 6th national people’s conference which will begin Thursday and end on Saturday.

Programmes so far implemented to empower the people include the land reform and indigenisation. While land reform sought to address colonial land imbalances through re-distribution to landless blacks, indigenisation which is still being implemented, aims to increase the participation of locals in the
management and control of businesses operating in the country.

The indigenisation law demands that locals be at least 51 per cent shareholders in major companies in the economy with foreigners compelled to dilute their ownership within agreed timeframes.

“When all is said and done, it is the policies that we pursue and pursue effectively and produce results that will improve our Gross Domestic Product,” President Mugabe said, adding that the economy had been dragged down by western sanctions, imposed over a decade ago as punishment for the land reforms.

“Although they have had a toll on the economy we have not succumbed to the sanctions. We are still on our feet,” President Mugabe said, adding Zimbabweans continued to find innovative ways of improving their

He said after more than a year following the general election, the ruling party should work towards fulfilling promises it made to the people which included eliminating poverty and disease and creating jobs for the
thousands of graduates coming out of the country’s educational institutions.

While job creation was important for school leavers, it was prudent that the students be taught to be entrepreneurs who create jobs for others. Improving the economy and creating employment opportunities would be done through effective implementation of the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim Asset), he said. ZimAsset is the country’s guiding economic blueprint from 2013 to 2018.

President Mugabe expressed concern on continued dominance by foreigners in some sectors of the economy such as manufacturing and conservancies. “It is in the manufacturing sector where we are very far from being owners of the companies there and that is why we want to seek acceleration through Zim Asset. We will decide on areas where we will have partnerships,” he said.

He said the government had little knowledge of what was going on in some white owned conservancies.
“We still have areas where we do not own the resources of our country and such areas include conservancies. We do not know what is going on in there. Westerners are flying in from South Africa and doing as they please,” he said.

“We may pretend to know through the Ministry of Tourism but there is very little knowledge.”