Farirai Machivenyika in GWERU—
President Mugabe yesterday scoffed at critics that expected him to bring loads of cash after his State visit to China, saying such people were not conversant with how governments operate. The President said this while opening the annual chiefs’ conference at the Zanu-PF Convention Centre here yesterday. “Ndinoda kuti ndikuudzei kuti rwendo rwatakaita kuChina was very, very productive. Izvi zvekunzi tingadai takauya takazadza mabox emari, aah hameno kuti manegotiations iwayo hazvisiizvo zvaanoitwa. You agree nenyika kuti tine maprojects akati neakati, neakati atinoda mari dzakati dzakati saka ndozvatinazvo. Tinoda kuti either you give us loans, soft loans dzisina interest yepamusorosoro or you come and join us toita joint venture.
“So the country yamuri kukumbira inouya as partner to you. Hamungopihwa mari hakuna nyika inongopa mari. Here and there you get a grant, yes we did get a grant, a small grant but we had commitments. Our roads yes, vachauya voita our roads, vachauya kuagriculture, vachauya kuzoshanda nesu kudiamonds,” President Mugabe said.
He said the Chinese had expressed interest to work with Zimbabwe in cutting and polishing diamonds as they were doing with South Africa, Botswana and Namibia.
“Those can employ hundreds of our young people from school boys and girls. Parliament, they say it’s a grant they are going to give. Iyo yese iyo you don’t pay anything for that. Mukaona yavakavakira Malawi, of course ours would be much bigger, it’s a beauty an absolute beauty with the gadgets very modern. Zvese muzere dzimba dzemaMPs so they are going to build that for us.
“They are going to do roads . . . ehe we are going to have new dual carriageways. . . Beitbridge to Harare, Harare to Mutare and so on that is what we would want to see,” he said.
The President added that Zimbabwe had already signed a deal with the Chinese for the expansion of Kariba Hydro Power Station.
“So these projects will be coming. You will be seeing them, but off course things don’t just overnight become shining, but I can assure you kuti aah komhiri kunana Britain, Europe and America they are beginning already to worry kuti tatotorerwa nzvimbo neChina. Saka vakutinyengererera iye zvino izvi asi isu tinombodawozve kana uchinyenga musikana haangakuti anokuda nezuva rimwe chete,” President Mugabe said.
“Saka maprogrammes iwaya kana achiuya ndeedu tese tinenge tichida employment yevanhu vedu. Isuwo tinenge tichida kuzvipa mabasa maengineers edu emigwagwa ezvemagetsi mametallurgist ese tinoada,” he said.
President Mugabe said the deals were under Government’s economic blueprint, Zim-Asset and said the traditional leaders had an important role to play in the programme.
President Mugabe said it was therefore important that the education sector be revamped to ensure that the country’s institutions produced graduates who were into productive sectors.
Turning to other issues, the Head of State and Government and Commander in Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, also defended the chiefs and said they had right to be involved in the country’s politics since they were the custodians of the land and cultural practices.
“Hameno VaCharumbira chinovashupa kana vachinzwa vamwe vachiti machief ngaarege kupinda mupolitics, chingave chii? Muri vatorwa? Tichitoti ndimi misoro, midzimu mukuru yatinorumbidza pahunhu hwedu, pamatongerwo edu pakusununguka kwedu mogonzi morega kuona kuti vanhu venyu ndezvipi zviri kuvatambudza. Ndidzo politics dzachoka idzodzo.
“Anenge achidaro mubvunzei kuti unobva kupi,” he said, adding that traditional leaders had a right to support any party of their choice.
“Zvino imiwo aah monzi muripamba penyu motadza kuti party yatiri kuona irikubata vanhu zvakanaka ndeyiyi, inegwara ndeyiyi, zvonzi ingotii tonho. Aah, iye munhu anodaro pasi naye. Monzi ingotii tonho chete kuita zvimumu, aiwa handizvo zvatinenge tichireva.”
President Mugabe also said Government was committed to improving the welfare of traditional leaders and said following his meeting with the chiefs’ council on Monday, he had pledged that they would get new cars while their allowances would be reviewed.
He directed the chiefs to decide the type of cars they wanted and submit their choices to Government.
“Zvamakachemesesa pamusoro pazvo zvaive zvetransport — mota, nemaallowances enyu — ndakaona kuti aah chingava chokwadi chief haanganzi anomira pamugwagwa ogopinda mucommuter (bus) imomuya vachimanikidzina? Hazviite saka ndofunga takakupayi promise kuti tonozvotaura zvino mota muchapihwa mosarudza kuti munoda yakaita sei,” he said.”
Zvimwe chete nemaallowance principle yakaita agree kuti ngaiwedzerwe asi hatisati taita agree kuti inosvika pafigure ipi saka ndizvo zvatichange tichiwiririna svondo rinouya.
On the Community Share Ownership Trusts, the President said he was happy with how various communities had used funds they received under the scheme, but said he was not happy that some companies were refusing to comply with the requirements of the law.
He said a countrywide audit would soon be carried out to identify the culprits.
He said Government would not tolerate companies that profiteered with their executives taking home huge salaries when the communities they operated in were underdeveloped.
President Mugabe also called on the traditional leaders to instil good morals on their subjects and bemoaned the decadence that had crept into society as evidenced by the high incidences of rape especially against minors and such vices as homosexuality.