THE Second Republic is leaving no stone unturned in accelerating rural development and industrialisation to improve the quality of life and economic well-being of people living in rural areas in line with the National Development strategy 1 (NDS1) and Vision 2030, President Mnangagwa said yesterday.
Addressing thousands of Zanu PF supporters in Beitbridge who braved the sweltering heat and thronged Dulivhadzimu Stadium, the President said his administration has rolled out a major borehole drilling programme that will see each of the 35 000 villages in the country benefiting in accessing clean water.
The President noted that Matabeleland South’s economy hinged largely on livestock production.
“Farmers in Matabeleland South largely depend on livestock production and therefore we have launched the Presidential Blitz Tick Grease programme to curb the spread of tick-borne diseases,” he said.
The tick grease programme is in line with the NDS1, which prioritises animal health and production through strengthening farmer knowledge, skills in livestock production and health to enhance productivity.
“We are also constructing dams throughout the country and in Matabeleland South we have Tuli-Manyange Dam and Lake Gwayi-Shangani in Matabeleland North.
“We are going to develop irrigation infrastructure and transform the surrounding areas into greenbelts so that local communities benefit from those water bodies and boost food security,” he said.
“We also want to industrialise rural areas and last month we launched a marula-mapfura processing plant in neighbouring Mwenezi district, which was developed by the National Biotechnology Authority of Zimbabwe.
“We have Nust in Bulawayo and we are saying through their innovation hub we can have a similar concept being adopted in Matabeleland South,” he said.
“Already you have citrus plantations and our thrust under the Second Republic is to make sure that we create rural industries depending on what is produced locally.”
The $50 million Mwenezi plant is one of the flagship Government projects in Masvingo province set to stimulate socio-economic growth.
“In Matabeleland South, in Bulilima district, and Tsholotsho in Matabeleland North province, we have quite a number of children without birth certificates and identity cards. We are now addressing that challenge and we are saying no one is going to be charged to secure identity documents though the Ministry of Home Affairs,” he said.
The Registrar-General’s Office recently started issuing identity documents to the San community in Tsholotsho, creating a sense of belonging among marginalised communities.
The registration process follows Cabinet’s recent decision that some of the requirements needed for documentation should be waived for the San community to ensure everyone acquires birth certificates, ID cards and passports.
Government was rehabilitating major roads under the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme.
“We are rehabilitating our roads to facilitate intra and inter economic trade which require good roads. Beitbridge-Harare-Chirundu road is already under construction and tendering for the Beitbridge-Bulawayo Road has stared. We gave a tender to a company which is however, failing and we will explore other avenues,” he said
“The Gwanda-Maphisa, West Nicholson-Mberengwa and Plumtree-Bulawayo roads are going to be repaired under the emergency Road Rehabilitation programme. We have the money set aside for that project.
“We have a borehole drilling programme targeting all 35 000 villages in Zimbabwe with each village getting a borehole to ensure that villagers have access to clean water.”
The President said near each borehole there will be a communal garden for women.
“So far we have secured 20 rigs and they will be taken to each province. We also want to make sure that no village or ward listens to a foreign radio station or watch a foreign television station. So I have assigned the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services to move around areas without reception for a radio and television signal.”
The President expressed concern over gold panning, saying Government is rolling out a national programme to regulate illegal mining activities.
“Gold panners are our children and we have a national programme targeting them so that they are assisted for them to operate legally as well as safeguarding the environment. What we don’t want is crime and corruption.”
President Mnangagwa reiterated that by-elections will be held in the first quarter of 2022 with Zanu PF poised to win as a harbinger to the 2023 harmonised elections.
He used his United Kingdom visit for the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) to mount a diplomatic offensive aimed at strengthening the re-engagement drive while calling for the removal of illegal sanctions.
“In terms of international relations, we are continuing with our engagement and reengagement. I went to Glasgow in Scotland where leaders from 193 countries converged. Zimbabwe and UK have over 20 years of frosty relations, but during my visit there, I met Prime Minister Boris Johnson and US President Joe Biden over illegal sanctions imposed on us,” said President Mnangagwa.
Speaking during the same occasion, Zanu PF Vice-President and Second Secretary, Cde Kembo Mohadi, said the party was optimistic of securing five million votes in 2023.
He thanked President Mnangagwa for conferring the late liberation struggle stalwart Cde Simon Khaya Moyo with national hero status.
Cde Khaya Moyo succumbed to cancer on Sunday at Mater Dei Hospital in Bulawayo.
A minute of silence was observed in honour of the national hero.
“Cde SK Moyo was in the liberation struggle since the late 1960s and an unflinching member of Zanu PF from PF Zapu and when we came together during the 1987 Unity Accord, he remained a member of the party until his last breadth.
“We would like to thank you Your Excellency for conferring on Cde SK Moyo the national hero status as one of us. We will miss him greatly and it will be very difficult for us to fill that gap which he has just left,” he said.
“Your Excellency, I would like to thank you for everything that you have done for this province. You have enumerated quite a number of projects that are going on under devolution and some under the Public Sector Investment Programme. What is happening in Matabeleland South is what we have not witnessed in the last 37 years in the First Republic. We find one of our own because you said none is going to be left behind and no place is going to be left behind and indeed we are seeing it happening and it shall continue to happen.”