President Emmerson Mnangagwa says Zimbabweans need to work hard for their own good, rather than pin hopes on Western aid and programmes which come with stringent conditions.

Addressing hundreds of people who gathered at Showgrounds Business Centre in Domboshawa after a cleanup campaign this Friday morning, President Mnangagwa said even the US$60 billion availed by America at the recent US-Africa summit in Mozambique had strings attached, hence the need for the country to produce its own food and spearhead its own development.

The President says it is no longer time for the country to continue relying on the US dollar as legal tender, saying it is partly the source of problems Zimbabwe is facing now.

“No country will ever develop when using another country’s currency. So we realised that we will not develop under such an arrangement because we do not have control of our financial issues. They can decide to oppress and punish you by setting stringent conditions if you do not agree with them on any issue. A few weeks ago, I met two American officials in Mozambique and asked what wrong Zimbabwe had done to America and they could not answer. These officials had come with a US$60 billion package for Africa, but unlike the Chinese package, that one availed by America had conditions such as that we should support them when voting at the United Nations. But as a country we must be independent in our voting and other choices, so we said no to aid or package that will make us puppets,” he said.

Cde Mnangagwa said the country must stop mourning about the illegal sanctions but aim to increase production in the agricultural and mining sectors.

The President spoke on the engagement and re-engagement efforts, confirming that former British Prime Minister Tony Blair wants to meet him, while another meeting focusing on power is scheduled for this Sunday with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in Niger on the sidelines of the African Union Summit.

The President also said there is need for improved infrastructure development in the country as a launch pad for efforts to realise an upper middle income economy by 2030.

Mashonaland East Province Minister Of State Cde Appolonia Munzverengwi, Mashonaland East Zanu PF Provincial Chairperson, who is also Minister Of Transport And Infrastructural Development Cde Joel Biggie Matiza, Environment, Tourism And Hospitality Industry Minister Cde Priscah Mupfumira, State Security Minister Cde Owen Ncube, Politburo Members Cde Mabel Chinomona and Dr Sydney Sekeramayi, Deputy Minister Of Information, Publicity And Broadcasting Services who is also the legislator for the area Cde Energy Mutodi, the local chief, senior government officials and members of the corporate world, among others, took part in the cleanup campaign.