President Emmerson Mnangagwa says Zimbabwe is now focusing on economic development now that the elections are behind, as the country seeks to leapfrog modernisation and industrialisation of Zimbabwe.

In his address at the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York this Wednesday evening, President Mnangagwa said the land reform programme is irreversible and “behind us” and emboldened by the hopes, dreams and aspirations of Zimbabweans and in tandem with the UN Agenda 2030 and AU Agenda 2063, the country has set its vision to become a middle income economy by 2030 with a per capita income of US$3 500.

He said this will bring on board increased investment, decent jobs, growth based empowerment and a society free from poverty and corruption by 2030.

“Now that elections are over, Zimbabwe is focusing on economic development….the Land Reform Programme is behind us and is irreversible,” said President Mnangagwa.

President Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe is open for business and is presently undertaking a raft of economic and political reforms to ensure an environment that facilitates an inclusive and sustained economic growth.

He said the government has put in place institutions and instruments that maximise land utilisation and increase agricultural productivity adding that strategies are in place in various sectors of the economy to enable the country to enter the global value chain.

President Mnangagwa said the development and modernisation of roads, railways, airports and infrastructure is being accelerated in line with the regional and continental quest of enhancing connectivity and integrated infrastructure.

President Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe has made substantial progress in the implementation of some of the Sustainable Development Goals.

In a bid to improve nutrition and broaden income opportunities, Zimbabwe has extended support to the livestock, fisheries and wildlife sectors.

“We are confident that these multi-pronged programmes will accelerate Zimbabwe’s re-entry into the global economy,” he said.

He called for the immediate removal of the illegal economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe, recalling the many developmental and economic challenges caused by the continued sanctions.

President Mnangagwa said peace, security, stability, democracy and good governance are essential ingredients for sustainable development, noting Zimbabwe’s recent general elections.

“The exceptionally peaceful pre- and post-electoral environment represented the maturing and entrenchment of democracy in Zimbabwe,” he said.

The President expressed gratitude to the United Nations for sending Election Observer Missions and for providing technical assistance, adding that their recommendations will be considered.

He said the isolated incident of the post-election violence which occurred on 1 August is regrettable and unacceptable.

“The Commission of Inquiry, comprising of eminent persons of national, regional and international repute, has now begun its work. Their report will help bring closure to the matter and will assist in the improvement of Zimbabwe’s institutional governance,” said President Mnangagwa.

The United Nations, like all global organisations, must be democratic, he said, calling for the review and reform of the Bretton Woods institutions and other international financial organizations.

He further called for negotiations under the World Trade Organization (WTO) which foster inclusive and shared economic growth.

“Trade remains an engine for growth if it is conducted fairly,” he said.

He also urged the international community not to turn a blind eye to the suffering of the Palestinian people.

“It is disheartening that the people of the Western Sahara have yet to exercise their inalienable rights to self-determination. The Security Council in cooperation with the African Union must find a just solution to the issue of Western Sahara,” the President said.

He said Zimbabwe looks forward to playing a positive and constructive role as a free, democratic, transparent and prosperous member of the family of nations.