Zimbabwe: Country Has Capacity to Meet MDGs

Published by the government of Zimbabwe

Roselyn Sachiti

20 October 2011

ZIMBABWE has the necessary infrastructure to meet the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Ray Ndhlukula has said.

Speaking at a United Nations media breakfast meeting in commemoration of the 2011 UN Day in Harare yesterday, Dr Ndhlukula said national, provincial and district levels have the necessary infrastructure in terms of local government systems to ensure that the MDGs and objectives are achieved.

Dr Ndhlukula said Zimbabwe’s local government system was structured in response to people’s needs at local level.

“On the district level, councillors, chiefs and headmen form part of the local government system and respond to the needs of the people. These are the structures utilised to achieve the Zimbabwe United Nations Development Assistance Framework objectives,” he said.

Zundaf is a strategic planning document jointly developed by Government and the UN to support national development priorities for 2011 to 2015 and the achievement of the MDGs by 2015.

Dr Ndhlukula, however, pointed out the need to strengthen the structures and make them more responsive to the needs of the people.

He said: “I am very confident that the local government system in Zimbabwe is built to respond to the needs of the people at a social, economic, political and cultural level. I shall be discussing with the UN resident co-ordinator to see how we can strengthen these structures in order to make them more responsive.”

He said the continued support of development programmes by the United Nations agencies helped Zimbabwe sail through the past 10 years.

“There have been challenges, especially in the last decade when we had very little capital inflows coming into the country and it was through the support of partners like UN that we were able to go through the difficult times. UN as an apolitical organisation has not taken sides to condemn Zimbabwe as far as internal affairs are concerned. They have stayed aloof only coming to assist us as far as development is concerned.

“In the past, we had friends who turned foe but the UN ensured that its support and development agenda continued,” he said.

He said the focus was on ensuring that Zundaf implementation was in sync with the medium-term plan as spelt out by Government as well as the MDGs by the UN.

He said Zimbabwe was mainly focusing on MDG 1 (Eradicating extreme poverty and hunger), MDG 3, which aims to promote gender equality and empower women, and MDG 6 (combating HIV and Aids, malaria and other diseases).

“This does not mean that we neglect the others. We want to focus on the three and I am positive that by 2015 we will be able to say we have achieved a lot as far as poverty alleviation, gender equity and HIV and Aids, and malaria is concerned,” he said.

Dr Ndhlukula challenged the media to promote Zimbabwe’s development agenda.

“The media is not there to divide or polarise society. Unfortunately what we have today is a situation where the media plays a role they should not. The media’s major focus should be to promote the development agenda and assist us as far as Zundaf is concerned.

“There is need for the media, be it private or independent to retrospect and see what role they would have played in as far as national development is concerned,” he said.

UN resident co-ordinator, Mr Alain Noudehou said the UN family would continue supporting Government efforts to meet the MDGs through different avenues such as Zundaf.

The UN Day is commemorated on October 24 each year worldwide to mark the birth of the UN in 1945.

This year’s theme, “UN 4U”, aims to build awareness of the UN role in advancing sustainable human development, peace and democracy.

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