Government and the private sector should continue working together in tapping the large pool of local skills and expertise to develop the country, President Mnangagwa said yesterday, after noting how impressive the local response has been to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The meeting at State House between the President and the private sector was to update and monitor joint efforts in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.
President Mnangagwa said the response by the private sector had shown him that the country had the requisite skills and expertise locally to solve many of its challenges without having to seek external experts and services.
"This pandemic has led Government to realise that we sometimes spend time and focus on going outside the country when the skills and knowledge are inside the country," he said.
"I think from now on, we should, as Government change our strategy in modernising and industrialising our country by supporting our own institutions with less borrowing from outside the country. There is a lot that can be done by our people if they are assisted and given support to develop needs which we need as a country to push us forward."
President Mnangagwa thanked everyone for the assistance that has been rendered by Zimbabweans of various walks of life since he launched the appeal last week.
He said it was important for Government to engage citizens whenever the country experienced challenges.
"I am very happy that the private sector is coming up in large numbers and coming up as you are lessening the burden of Government," said President Mnangagwa. "I am so delighted that the skills and expertise, which you have exhibited are hardly found in Government and I am happy that you are coming forward.
"This means that Government will, therefore, focus on the areas that the private sector has not touched on, but I can hardly think of the areas which the private sector has no capacity to deal with."
President Mnangagwa said the Covid-19 pandemic had given Government an opportunity to revamp and modernise the health sector.
The meeting also saw more donations flowing in from the private sector for the Covid-19 fight.
During the event, Omnichem general manager Mr Gwinyai Kasai gave 1 000 litres of hand sanitiser and 250 litres of liquid hand soap.
Providence Human Capital, a division of Innscor Africa Limited, made available, through its managing director Mrs Chipo Ndudzo, a call centre that will be used to raise awareness of the disease.
This call centre will be run in partnership with the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services with the company paying the staff.
"We are interested in primary health care and will be working with the City of Harare, and especially hospitals dealing with infectious diseases," she said.
Mrs Ndudzo said they will engage local authorities in other cities to ensure their facilities were able to attend to Covid-19 patients.
Mrs Karen Mutasa, who spoke on behalf of Solidarity Trust of Zimbabwe, said there was now a joint venture agreement with the owners of St Anne's Hospital to operate the institution as a Covid-19 centre.
The hospital, owned by the Catholic Sisters of the Little Company of Mary, had 100 beds as well as an intensive care unit and high dependency unit, said Mrs Mutasa. The trust was working on assisting institutions in other cities.
President of the Zimbabwe Institution of Engineers, Engineer Israel Rwodzi, said members were willing to partner Government in repairing machinery used by health personnel in the fight against Covid-19.
Meanwhile, a representative of the Law Society of Zimbabwe, Mr Wellington Magaya, urged Government to enforce the social distancing measures.
"There is need to seriously enforce the lockdown especially the social distancing because we have seen instances were it's not being followed mainly in queues at supermarkets," he said.