PRESIDENT Mugabe this morning officially launches the US$1 billion dualisation project of the Beitbridge-Harare and Harare-Chirundu highways at Chaka Business center in Chirumhanzu before commissioning the US$250 million Tokwe-Mukosi Dam in Chivi later in the day.
The Herald gives you live feeds of these two landmark events. Stay logged in and participate in the discussion through the Disqus Comments platform below.
FEEDS: Farirai Machivenyika, Simiso Mlevu, PHOTOGRAPHY: Wilson Kakurira (Tokwe-Mukosi) & Kudakwashe Hunda (Chaka, Chirumhanzu), EDITOR: Happiness Chikwanha
11:43 - Scores of people already at the Chaka Growth Point ahead of the ground breaking ceremony of the Beitbridge-Harare highway dualisation project
11:45 - Traditional dance groups are providing entertainment.
11:51 - President Mugabe arrives at Chaka Business Center in Chirumhanzu ahead of the commencement of proceedings.
11: 53 – President Mugabe later in the day is also expected to commission the Tokwe-Mukosi Dam and launch a US$1 million fishery project in Masvingo Province.
11:57 – Tokwe-Mukosi dam is located about 72 kilometers south of Masvingo city.
12:00 – Meanwhile at Tokwe-Mukosi, multitudes of Zimbabweans are making way to the venue to witness government’s commitment towards the implementation of the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset).
12:05 - Tokwe-Mukosi dam, is testimony of the fulfillment of the ZimAsset cluster on Infrastructure Development and Utilities. The dam (edited) is set to make significant contribution to the Food Security and Nutrition cluster by providing water to irrigate 25 000 hectares of land.
12:08 - As faithfuls wait for the beginning of the official program here in Chivi, Gororo Primary, Songamiti Secondary Schools and The police band are providing entrainment.
12:20 – Meanwhile President Mugabe has been welcomed by the Masvingo Provincial leadership at Chaka and is having a brief.
12:30 - Several ministers are already here. The presidential brief is still on.
12:50 – Meanwhile President Mugabe lands to a rapturous applause by the thousands of people at the venue!
12:51 - Several cabinet ministers, parliamentarians have also arrived at the venue.
12: 52 - Vice Presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko have also arrived at the venue.
12:53 - The dualisation of the highways is being led by Geiger International at a cost of close to US$1 billion
13:04 – The national anthem is being sung before commencement of proceedings
13:10- Midlands Provincial Affairs Minister Jaison Machaya making welcome remarks
13:21 - Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Dr Joram Gumbo is now on the podium. He says the project will take three years to complete at a cost of $984 million through a Private-Public Partnership (PPP) agreement. He pledges to monitor the project to ensure quality and value for money.
13:24 - Geiger International vice chairman Eric Geiger pledges to subcontract 40 % of the value of the project to local companies.
13:31-Vice President Mphoko introduces President Mugabe to address the gathering.
13:34 - President Mugabe takes to the podium to deliver his speech.
13:40 – President Mugabe says the project will have a multiplier effect on the economy.
13:47 - He says illegal sanctions imposed on the country have affected infrastructure development in the country.
13:55 – President Mugabe urges local companies to participate fully in the project and warns them against overcharging so that they can be considered in future project.
14:02 - President Mugabe immediately warps up by paying his condolences to Minister Gumbo who lost his son two weeks ago
14:05 - He ends by officially launching the construction of the dualised highway.
14:10 - Vice President Mnangagwa now giving vote of thanks.
14:11 Stay logged in for pictures of the ground-breaking ceremony
14:16 – WE CROSS OVER TO TOKWE MUKOSI, where President Mugabe is proceeding to commission the Tokwe Mukosi dam as well as commission a US$1 million fishing project.
14:22 Berejena Primary School is entertaining the crowd here at Gororo Village in Chivi through breathtaking displays. Mass Displays are part of the new curriculum introduced by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education.
14:24 - Through mass displays, Berejena Primary School emphasised the importance of team work in the implementation of ZimAsset.
14:27 - There is a bumper crowd here at Gororo Primary waiting for the arrival of President Mugabe, the man who is steering the ZimAsset ship which has seen the completion of Tokwe-Mukosi Dam.
14:47 - President Mugabe is expected to land at Gororo anytime.
14:59 – Meanwhile Berejena Primary School which staged mass displays has been called back to the stage by popular demand. Their displays emphasised unity and collaboration if results are to be attained.
15:10 - Three choppers just flew past where the crowd is gathered signaling the arrival of President Mugabe in Chivi. His Excellency will go straight into a briefing with ZINWA and Government officials
15:28 - Police Band is keeping the crowd entertained as they wait for the official proceedings which will resume any moment from now.
15:30 - Deputy Minister of Women Affairs, Cde Abigail Damasane joins the police band in dancing, much to the amusement of the crowd.
15:36 – Deputy Minister Damasane leads the police band in singing the late South African musician, Joe Mafela’s song, Thoko Ujola Nobani.
15:51 – Some of the banners on display here at the venue of the official openning of Tokwe Mukosi Dam read, “ZimAsset: For Accelerated Economic Growth”, “Mugabe is Right” and “Zimbabwe @37, embracing ease of doing business for socio-economic development”.
16:10 – President Mugabe has come out of the briefing and will start by commissioning the project!
16:18 - President Mugabe is accompanied by the two Vice Presidents, Cdes Mnangagwa and Mphoko
16:23 - President Mugabe has commissioned Tokwe-Mukosi Dam here at Gororo Village!
16:24 - He is now headed to the main venue where thousands of people are gathered to witness the historic event.
16:27 - His Excellency has arrived and the police band leads the crowd in singing the national anthem.
16:28 - The Director of Ceremony is Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate Mr prince Mupazviriho. Mr Mupazviriho has invited Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs Cde Shuvai Mahofa to make welcome remarks.
16:30 - Cde Mahofa thanks President Mugabe for the good gesture extended to the people of Masvingo. “Baba, Baba, Baba, nhasi ndezveduwo!” says Cde Mahofa.
16:32 - Vice President Mnangagwa has been invited to introduce the guest of honour who is President Mugabe. He does so before castigating lazy people.
16:33 – President Mugabe takes to the podium and starts with salutations recognising the presence of his deputies, Government ministers, the construction company, and Masvingo villagers.
16:34 – “Cdes and friends, we are gathered here because of water. This is not a river. It’s a man made feature. We have waited for long for this dam to be finished. We always asked ourselves when it would eventually be finished. I even visited here to assess progress.
16:36 – “The construction company, Salin, would sometimes give up working demanding payment, but I am glad they have worked with us till the end”
16:37 – President Mugabe says the dam will improve people’s social and economic independence. He says the idea of building Tokwe-Mukosi dam was mooted during the pre-independence era but construction only started in 1998.
16:39 - The coming in of Tokwe-Mukosi Mukosi will see an addition of 25 000 hectares of irrigation land. The addition of irrigable land will lead to the creation of many jobs down stream.
16:40 – “I am reliably informed that the dam will benefit sugar producer, Tongatt Hullet and many other companies around (here).
16:42 - Tokwe-Mukosi Dam will have a hydro electric pump that will produce 50 megawatts and this will help alleviate power shortages
16:43 – The Dam will add to the tourist destination which already boast of Great Zimbabwe and Lake Mutirikwi among others.
16:45 – “Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce and pay tribute to the people who made this project a success. These are the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate; Zinwa, our contractor, Salin and all ministries and departments that contributed.
16:47-”This is what the Zanu PF government has done. The party is determined to improve people’s lives. No other party has the capacity to do this. We have not done this for the people of Masvingo only, this is a national project. People will be coming here for fishing. All along we have been getting fish primarily from the Zambezi River but things have been made easy for us,” says President Mugabe.
16:50 - President Mugabe warns Masvingo villagers to guard against siltation adding that it will lead to the diminishing of the project.
16:52 - ”Also, let me advise those who do panning, may you please practice caution when panning (for gold and other minerals).
16:54 -” I thank all of you for coming here. We are together in this,” he says. Addressing Cde Mahofa, President Mugabe says it is up to her to ensure that people use the availed resources wisely.
LATE UPDATE: Minister of Environment, Water and Climate Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri announced that ZINWA will be donating a bull to President Mugabe to add to his earlier donation of cattle to the African Union (AU).
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