President Emmerson Mnangagwa has expressed concern at the tendency by Zimbabweans to siphon cash out of the country, saying it is hampering efforts by the government to address the current cash shortages in the economy.

Addressing mourners at the burial of the late Consul General John Chimbandi at the National Heroes Acre in Harare today, Cde Mnangagwa said the government is working hard to turn around the economy and address immediate challenges being faced by Zimbabweans.

He however said despite some impediments, such efforts will succeed.

“I am aware that our people continue to face hardships linked to shortages of cash in the economy. My government remains fully seized with the matter. We have, to date, released millions of United States dollars into the market for circulation to ease this problem, however, as soon as the money is injected into the system, it is sponged out,” Cde Mnangagwa said.

He urged Zimbabweans to embrace the use of plastic money in line with global trends, and was quick to cal for stakeholders to ensure that the transacting public is not punished through excessive charges for electronic transactions.

The President reminded Zimbabweans that it is their duty to ensure that the country is indeed in a new mode, and that it becomes a new Zimbabwe on a new development trajectory, with new opportunities and freedoms.

He said he believes in servant leadership.

“I am a servant leader and listening President. My government is fully cognisant of that the power belongs to the people and that they expect the upliftment of their welfare,” he said.

On elections, President Mnangagwa said it is the duty of his government and all stakeholders to ensure that the country delivers an undisputed election.

“Through the 30 July elections, we want to show the world that our democracy has come of age. It is the duty of all of us, including political parties to display the same resolve and commitment to peace and unity both in speech and deeds. I urge the people of Zimbabwe to be hospitable to all visitors to the country, including election observers. Election observers should also acquaint themselves well with the country’s electoral laws,” he said.

The President hailed the role played by Cde Chimbandi during and after the liberation struggle.

“Never take the story of our liberation struggle for granted. This independence we have today was fought for by people such as Cde Chimbandi. Cde Chimbandi is a hero to us all, he played a heroic role in the liberation struggle and worked closely with the OAU Liberation Committee to ensure sustained support towards the liberation of African states such as Zimbabwe. Even after independence, he never stopped working for the country and he thrived in various roles representing his nation. There is no service to the people that surpasses sacrifice and I challenge you Zimbabweans, both locally and abroad, to always work hard to advance the national interest. We must always be motivated by his exemplary commitment to national duty,” he said, adding that death ‘is the fate that awaits us all.’

Earlier, the body of the late national hero was taken to Stodart Hall in Mbare, where Cde Mnangagwa led the body viewing procession.

The two Vice Presidents; Retired General Constantino Chiwenga and Cde Kembo Mohadi, Zanu PF and government officials, relatives and friends also had a chance to pay their last respects to the national hero.

Cde Chimbandi becomes the first hero to be buried at the national shrine in the new political dispensation ushered in last November.

The other national hero, Dr Timothy Stamps, who died at the end of November last year, was accorded the status his family opted for a private burial ceremony in accordance with its beliefs.


Cde Chimbandi

Cde Chimbandi

  • Born Caston Chibanda whose Chimurenga name was Cde John Chimbandi.
  • Joined the liberation struggle in 1973 and assumed several senior posts.
  • Joined the then Ministry of Foreign Affairs at independence as Assistant Secretary prior to his posting to diplomatic missions.
  • He is former Consul General to Beira, Mozambique, and also served in several African and overseas countries as a career diplomat. Cde Chimbandi retired from service last year.
  • He suffered a stroke some 34 years ago which could have led to his death. Died last week Saturday in Harare.
  • He is survived by a wife, three daughters and one grandson.