Auxillia Katongomara Bulawayo Bureau
Delegates to the 17th Zanu-PF Annual National People’s Conference in Esigodini, Matabeleland South Province, are expected to start arriving at the venue this morning.
Over 5 000 delegates are expected at the conference that began on Tuesday with a Politburo meeting in Harare followed by a Central Committee meeting yesterday, also in the capital.
The convention ends on Saturday.
Running under the theme “Zimbabwe is Open for Business: Peace, Unity Towards an Upper Middle-Income Economy by 2030”, the conference will see delegates drawn from the country’s 10 provinces converging at Mzingwane High School, the venue of the annual indaba.
A visit by a Chronicle news crew showed that it was all systems go as almost everything was set with the people on the ground putting the final touches.
Mzingwane High School now has a different outlook as roads, classrooms and the school’s surroundings have been spruced up ahead of the conference with the main tent and other supporting facilities ready to host the indaba.
Exhibitors from different parastatals and ministries were finishing up mounting their exhibition stands ahead of the official opening tomorrow, according to the conference programme.
Zanu-PF President and First Secretary Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa will preside over the conference.
He will officially open it tomorrow while the closing ceremony will be on Saturday.
Delegates leave on December 16.
Meanwhile, the 200 Zanu-PF youths drawn from the country’s 10 provinces who are taking part in the 467km Tree Planting Walkathon from Harare to the conference venue arrived at Esihlengeni Primary School in Siphezini, near Esigodini yesterday.
The resilient youths, who will proceed to Esigodini this morning, were welcomed in Siphezini by Primary and Secondary Education Deputy Minister, Dr Edgar Moyo, who is also legislator for Matobo North; Umzingwane legislator Cde Levi Mayihlome, Zanu-PF Matabeleland South youth chairperson Cde Washington Nkomo among other party officials.
The youths converged at Esihlengeni Primary School where Dr Moyo and other officials planted trees.
In his speech, Dr Moyo — who was the guest of honour at the event — commended the youths for their commitment in partaking in the fruitful walk.
“I would like to thank you our youth for this show of commitment and unwavering support and participation in this event. You have exhibited that you are true custodians of our country’s natural heritage, thereby setting an example for all the youths of Zimbabwe,” he said.
He encouraged farmers to make trees part of the farming ecosystem.
“For the benefit of the country, we require concerted efforts from all sectors of society in ensuring that trees are planted and protected. This is why we are applauding everyone who is participating in this exercise today. I hope this exercise will help inspire every Zimbabwean to play their part in tree planting because it is everyone’s responsibility,” he said.
Zanu-PF Youth League director for environment and tourism Cde Stewart Mutizwa said the walkathon was dedicated to President Mnangagwa for the trials and tribulations he went through, among them the poisoning saga and harassment and insults from the G-40 cabal last year and surviving the White City Stadium bombing in June this year.
He said the 200 youths left Harare on December 5 and none of them dropped out, showing their commitment to the party as well as the quest to plant trees countrywide under the theme “My Environment — My Pride”.
The Youth League made a resolution recently to endorse President Mnangagwa as their Presidential candidate for 2023 and are chanting a new slogan, “2023 ED Pfee”.