Africa Moyo and Thupeyo Muleya
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa yesterday urged Matabeleland South Province to explore ways of developing its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) using low-hanging fruits such as minerals and agriculture in line with Government’s programme of devolving power to provinces.
He said the time for provinces to look up to Harare for development assistance was over and urged every citizen to play a leading role in ensuring the success of the devolution programme in line with the New Dispensation’s Vision 2030, which seeks to establish an upper-middle income economy.
President Mnangagwa said so far RTGS310 million had been committed to roll out the devolution concept which will see each province mobilising and effectively using resources around them to attract global capital for accelerated investment promotion.
“In the Second Republic, proximity to the major cities need not be a prerequisite for economic success. All Zimbabweans should have access to the vital tools for development, which internet capability facilitates,” said President Mnangagwa.
“Each province must change their approach to economic growth. No more looking to Harare. You must look at yourselves and say ‘What do we have to grow our economy to better the lives of own people?’ “Matabeleland South is endowed with minerals. In that regard, we should say ‘how do we attract global capital to come and exploit, bring technologies, bring skills to exploit the minerals which we have in this province. You have also wildlife.”
The President said as they were flying in a helicopter to Beitbridge, he saw lush green fields of oranges.
He said he told Vice President Kembo Mohadi who said he also grows oranges.
“He also grows oranges, mufunge. Anongodya ega haasati ambondivigira kuti kune mukoma. Anga achitofara kuti he grows oranges, dzaasingapi mudhara?
“So the potential for this province is great. You need to come together; Government, rural structures, the traditional leaders and the communities, they know what they have.
“All what you need is to be supported by Government for the programmes you yourselves initiate in your province and have your own GDP which must continue to grow year by year; infrastructure, road construction, railway (and) other developmental entities, manufacturing; all these things can be attracted into the province if you sit together and say ‘Ah, we are Matabeleland South province, we want to move forward and not say ah, let Harare come and help us,” added President Mnangagwa.
“This is where we are going. That is the manner in which we are going to develop our country. Responsibility lies in each and every citizen of this country. Each one of us has a burden to say, ‘What do I contribute to my country? What do I contribute to my province? What do I contribute to my district? What do I contribute to my community, to my home?’”