‘All in place for Zanu-PF ind­aba’

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Cartoon, Q&a, Opinion - Thu­peyo Mu­leya

TM: Your prov­ince hosts the 17th An­nual Peo­ple’s Con­fer­ence of the rul­ing Zanu-PF party, how pre­pared are you and how are the lo­gis­tics go­ing? Are there any chal­lenges? RC: Firstly, we are de­lighted as a prov­ince to be host­ing such an ind­aba, as we mark a new begin­ning in Zim­babwe. In terms of prepa­ra­tions, we have cov­ered a lot of ground and are ready to roll. The con­fer­ence venue is now ready and we will soon be hand­ing it over to na­tional party chair­per­son Cde Op­pah Muchin­guri-Kashiri for fur­ther man­age­ment. In essence we are ex­pect­ing a full house. This will be a very mem­o­rable event to be held in our prov­ince. Cur­rently, we are mak­ing fol­low-ups on those who pledged to do­nate cat­tle to be con­sumed by del­e­gates dur­ing the con­fer­ence. Ini­tially, we had pro­posed to slaugh­ter 168 beasts, but that was re­vised to 86. Our only chal­lenge at the mo­ment is get­ting those cat­tle. You will note that some of those who had promised to de­liver the cat­tle are now opt­ing to give us money ($500). This is a set­back but we are con­fi­dent that we will pull through. Our lo­gis­tics team is work­ing around the clock ty­ing up all the loose ends. TM: What is the sig­nif­i­cance of host­ing the show­piece in the re­gion and what are your ex­pec­ta­tions? RC: It is im­por­tant to high­light that Zanu-PF is the strong­est rev­o­lu­tion­ary move­ment in the coun­try and this prov­ince. We are very grate­ful for the recognition by the party lead­er­ship to hold the first con­fer­ence in the Sec­ond Repub­lic in our back­yard. This bears tes­ti­mony that peo­ple from this re­gion play a very crit­i­cal role in shap­ing na­tional pol­i­tics and the coun­try’s de­vel­op­ment agenda. Our ex­pec­ta­tions are that this con­fer­ence will trans­form dreams into re­al­ity as the del­e­gates de­lib­er­ate on se­ri­ous bread and but­ter is­sues. In ad­di­tion, this is a plat­form to ex­pose our peo­ple on map­ping the way for­ward in line with Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa and the Gov­ern­ment’s Vi­sion 2030. Such an ind­aba comes with great em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties for our youths when they are en­gaged for var­i­ous ser­vices in­clud­ing the venue set-up. It also brings busi­ness to the sur­round­ing ar­eas since we will be host­ing a lot of del­e­gates. Fur­ther, the fact that we will be dis­cussing, among other is­sues, in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment and de­vo­lu­tion of the econ­omy it is im­por­tant for peo­ple in this area. They ex­pect more eco­nomic, so­cial and in­fras­truc­tural ben­e­fits. TM: What is the state of the party or­gan­i­sa­tion­ally, and how does your over­all show­ing in the last elec­tion re­flect the state of the or­gan­i­sa­tion? RC: Let me say this again, we are the real deal in this prov­ince. In 2013 we had a clean sweep and we did it again this year, though we only lost one par­lia­men­tary seat out of 13. The party is get­ting stronger each day. We have never stopped work­ing and we will con­tinue from where we left off as we move for­ward to main­tain our dom­i­nance as a peo­ple-driven party. On the ground, we are hav­ing more peo­ple fol­low­ing and join­ing the party. Those fence-sit­ters have re­alised that we are the party of ex­cel­lence and are here to stay. TM: How do you as a prov­ince,

re­late to this year’s theme? RC: The theme shows how se­ri­ous our Gov­ern­ment is in turn­ing around peo­ple’s for­tunes. If we look into the pe­riod pre and post-elec­tions we have re­mained united as a peo­ple and there were no in­ci­dents of po­lit­i­cal vi­o­lence. We are very hope­ful on grow­ing so­cially, eco­nom­i­cally and po­lit­i­cally as a prov­ince. There are a lot of in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties in this area await­ing ex­ploita­tion — much to the ben­e­fit of the dis­trict, pro­vin­cial and na­tional economies. These in­clude live­stock pro­duc­tion, min­ing, ed­u­ca­tion, tourism, man­u­fac­tur­ing, trans­port and lo­gis­tics, among oth­ers. TM: What are the most im­por­tant is­sues af­fect­ing your prov­ince, po­lit­i­cally, so­cially and eco­nom­i­cally? RC: Our main chal­lenges are in the ed­u­ca­tion, in­fra­struc­ture, com­mu­ni­ca­tion, roads, agri­cul­ture, eco­nomic and health sec­tors. In short we have a lot of ar­eas which need at­ten­tion to spread de­vel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties evenly. For in­stance, we would love to see a sit­u­a­tion where we have at least one col­lege in each dis­trict to re­duce the costs par­ents in­cur send­ing their chil­dren to other prov­inces to ac­cess ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion. In ad­di­tion, we have an acute short­age of sci­ence lab­o­ra­to­ries. This has a neg­a­tive bear­ing on our pass rate on STEM sub­jects. Mo­bile com­mu­ni­ca­tion ser­vices are still a chal­lenge in some ar­eas though they are be­ing ad­dressed. Con­sid­er­ing that we are more into min­ing and live­stock pro­duc­tion, it is im­por­tant for the peo­ple to get the nec­es­sary sup­port to ca­pac­i­tate them to be­come pro­duc­tive. The poor state of roads and in­fra­struc­ture and ir­ri­ga­tion projects are also wor­ri­some. There is also a strong need to in­crease the num­ber of pri­mary and ma­jor health­care fa­cil­i­ties in Mat South. TM: How do you re­late to Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa’s drive to­wards de­vo­lu­tion? RC: There is no bet­ter time than now to talk about a de­volved econ­omy. We thank the Pres­i­dent for such a peo­ple-cen­tred vi­sion. This ini­tia­tive will spread eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment from dis­trict, pro­vin­cial up to na­tional level. Mat South is af­flu­ent with re­sources which can turn­around our for­tunes un­der a de­volved econ­omy. As I have al­ready in­di­cated, we have a lot of op­por­tu­ni­ties in live­stock pro­duc­tion, ce­ment man­u­fac­tur­ing (in Beit­bridge and Collen Bawn), tourism, min­ing, ir­ri­ga­tion de­vel­op­ment, ed­u­ca­tion, health, trans­port and lo­gis­tics, citrus farm­ing. Our ge­o­graph­i­cal lo­ca­tion close to Botswana and South Africa also presents op­por­tu­ni­ties to cre­ate dry ports at our bor­ders. All this, if prop­erly im­ple­mented, will cre­ate wealthy, healthy peo­ple and em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties for our youths. TM: As all roads lead to Esigo­dini next week, what me­mories do you want del­e­gates com­ing for the con­fer­ence to take home? RC: Our hope is hav­ing a mem­o­rable con­fer­ence where real is­sues to move the econ­omy for­ward are dis­cussed among other key na­tional is­sues. We also hope that on the busi­ness and in­fra­struc­ture side we will be able to grow as a prov­ince. This should be an ind­aba where pro­duc­tive un­der­tak­ings should be made. These in­clude in­ten­si­fy­ing value ad­di­tion, food se­cu­rity, eco­nomic growth and the start of a de­volved econ­omy. TM: What mes­sage do you want to share with those who will be at­tend­ing the con­fer­ence? RC: This is a great plat­form to en­gage as representatives of the peo­ple. We must strive to take all de­lib­er­a­tions with de­ter­mi­na­tion and com­mit­ment. They should feel wel­come to our rain­bow prov­ince. Let me also in­di­cate that we are not look­ing for­ward to any un­to­ward events, enough lo­gis­tics have been done on is­sues of safety and se­cu­rity. We don’t ex­pect to have a re­peat of the White City events (bomb­ings).

Cde Choeni

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