President Mugabe yesterday said Government will not hesitate to kick out British and American ambassadors if they continue instigating chaos by funding vendors to resist relocation to designated areas. Officially opening the Global Small and Medium Enterprises Expo in Harare, the President warned the two ambassadors to stop fomenting anarchy here.
“The resistance by vendors, we see the British and American ambassadors coming to the vendors and giving them money wanting them to continue to resist and these are ambassadors of countries that have sanctions on us,” he said.
“So, we have said if they continue doing that we will kick them out of the country.”
President Mugabe said Zimbabweans were known worldwide as enlightened people and it was incumbent upon them not to be led into anarchy.
He said Americans and the British were averse to peace in developing countries and “just want to see chaos, people fighting each other, terrorism everywhere.”
President Mugabe said the British and Americans behaved as if they were possessed by demons that did not want to see peace prevailing in the country.
“What demons do they have? Apoka ndopanomuka shave rangu ipapo. When a person insists on wanting to do wrong things to undermine the peace and calm of a nation, to undermine the unity of a people, then they are no good for us,” he said.
“We don’t need the British ambassador here; we don’t need the American ambassador here. But they would want diplomatic representation with us. We don’t do that in their own countries. So, they have to behave. Behave and you will be in peace with us, misbehave and we will kick you out right from the bottom. It’s our country.”
President Mugabe said Zimbabwe is an independent State that cherishes peace, which is a prerequisite for economic development.
“Hongu kana wakanga wawana nzvimbo yako, haisi nzvimbo yedahwa, dahwaka munoziva kuti rinoramba richi dzokera netsuro. Aiwa, kana wakanga wawana nzvimbo pawakanga usati wawanikidzwa uchiita mari, isiri nzvimbo yakanaka, wazowanikidzwa toti toda kukugadzirai zvakanaka tiise mastores pamunofanira kutengesera, aah kwete dzava nharo,” President Mugabe said.
He urged vendors to relocate to designated areas and not turn urban centres into chaos and confusion.
“Asika tinenge tisingade mvonga-mvonga, magariro atinoona kune dzimwe nyika where you see goats in the city centre like in First Street,” said President Mugabe.
“That’s what I once witnessed in West Africa, no, we want to ensure that those who have shops are able to sell their wares freely, then goats must go kumbudzi.”
President Mugabe commended the Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises and Co-operative Development Sithembiso Nyoni for organising the Small and Medium Expo and urged her to ensure that similar future expos are well publicised so that they become larger.
President Mugabe said it was an acknowledged fact that the SME sector plays a pivotal role in the economic development of many countries.
He said according to the International Finance Corporation of 2012, there are more than 125 million SMEs globally absorbing about 67 percent of employment, and contributing more than 51 percent to the gross domestic product.
“Locally, SMEs employ more than 60 percent of the country’s workforce and contribute over 50 percent to the country’s GDP,” said President Mugabe.
“Having recognised the importance of such a viable and dynamic sector, essential and pivotal for economic development, we in Zimbabwe established the Ministry of SMEs and Cooperatives.”
President Mugabe urged SMEs to obtain local and global certification standards so that their products can compete in the global economy.
He said entrepreneurs should take advantage of Zimbabwe’s geographical location which is strategically placed at the centre of Sadc and the COMESA region.
President Mugabe said the Government was committed to addressing challenges being faced by SMEs which include lack of appropriate workspace, regulatory challenges and limited lines of credit.
He said SMEs were the ones that have sustained the country and showed great resistance to the enemies’ moral, political and economic onslaught aimed at installing regime change.
President Mugabe said the small and medium enterprises were the ones that have continued to sustain the economy in the face of economic hardships exacerbated by drought and economic sanctions imposed by the West.
He said even people in rural areas had so much resilience that they make sure that children attend school through various initiatives that included selling livestock to buy uniforms.
“Even if we are small, we have the power to resist,” President Mugabe. “We have the power to say never again shall we come under the yoke of colonialism.”
President Mugabe commended the relations that exist between Zimbabwe and Iran and expressed hope that the two countries will exchange ideas on how best the SMEs can be harnessed and promoted for economic development.
Zimbabwe and Iran signed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen cooperation between upcoming businesses and potential investors from Middle East country.
The decision to forge cooperation comes after the delegations from the two countries made successful visits to the respective countries over the last five months.
A 40-member Iranian delegation is in Zimbabwe for the 8th Zimbabwe-Iran Joint Commission which started on Tuesday.