Updates by Costa Mano and Simiso Mlevu

1741: Official proceedings have ended here in Victoria Falls. Please join us tomorrow as we continue with our live updates.

1714:  VP Mnangagwa asks Dr Chombo to state the tasks for the committees that are supposed to go into closed sessions of which he has started to do so.

1713: Cde Viola “I’m honoured to make this very short statement from those of us still captured in the United States, we have one leadership that says African people no matter what else that is because of the dedication of our President Robert Gabriel Mugabe..we alleyways say that our work in the United States is to ensure that the Zimbabwean people under the leadership of Cde Robert Mugabe is insurmountable.”

She ends her address.

1709: Ministers have finished giving their ZimAsset progress reports. VP Mnangagwa says there will be only one solidarity message from Cde Viola of the December 12 Movement.

Zanu-PF hills. Picture by Michelle Hakata

Zanu-PF hills. Picture by Michelle Hakata

1708: Dr Samuel Undenge says “Mozambique is going to supplement our power shortage although this problem is a regional one…Government is looking at ways to improve availability of power because we need power….we are looking at having electricity in every household.

Delegates at the conference. Pictures by Munyaradzi Chamalimba

Delegates at the conference. Pictures by Munyaradzi Chamalimba

1659: Professor Jonathan Moyo says “We have distributed a paper which will circulated to the delegates and it highlights the activities taking place in the Higher and Tertiary Education sector..I’m not going to take this time to talk about those activies comrades will find it in the paper. i would like to take this opportunity to highlight the challenges that emerge from Cde Chinamasa’s presentation..The most effective way of consolidating the people’s power is through education..this consolidation is important when it comes to the issue of value addition and beneficiation.

“We have a very sound education foundation and it is because of that foundation that Zimbabwe boats of the literacy rate, there are now gaps that have arisen and we can close those gaps through ZimAsset..there are 13 million Zimbabweans, 8 million above 15 years, 92% of Zimbabweans above 15 are literate. Only 590 000 Zimbabweans have Tertiary education.

” Out of 8 million literate people, Zimbabweans with STEM skills are 2 546 yet this is precisely the skills necessary if we are to contribute to value addition and beneficiation….value addition is about producing patents, industrial designs and copyrights…our universities are 15 and will have 21 by end of next year. We graduate 16 000 graduates per year and majority are doing commerce and not science and technology. We need to redefine the mandate of our universities….the policy of having one State university will be fulfilled next year.”

1642:  Cde Lazarus Dokora says “The biggest teacher we have is President Mugabe because he saw that education is the key to everything else that’s why we have a high literacy rate 92.4%…In 1980 we had 401 primary school now there are 5 905, enrollment was 1,2 million, 3,1 million in  secondary we had 177 schools but now we have 4 282 with enrollment now 1 026 984 kids in school.

“We have embraced indigenous languages no matter where there are as part of the new curriculum. We are now emphasising technology and science…the curriculum will be introduced in two phases that include outreach programmes and teacher education. Delivery of quality service in the sector will ensure that each child will go through Life Skills education and preparation will start in 2016. We will deliver 6 schools under the China Bilateral Programme with Lupane Government Primary School opening in February.

President Mugabe and First lady Amai Grace Mugabe arriving at the conference venue

President Mugabe and First lady Amai Grace Mugabe arriving at the conference venue

1630: Cde Jorum Gumbo says “The Plumtree-Mutare  road was built at a cost of $206million but it’s flaking and breaking up in certain areas so we have been talking to the contractors to solve this problem before you commission it because we are not happy with its construction….Kariba and Buffalo Range Airports will be renovated started next year and feasibility studies are underway regards having airports in all of the country’s points of entry.

1623: Cde Saviour Kasukuwre says the Ministry of Local Government had been tasked with delivering 120 000 housing units by December 2018 but we increased that to 313 318 housing units by 2018.

“We have decided to build going up to save agricultural land…we have had an emergence of land barons who were causing havoc by selling State and Council land. We have been successful in ending the scourge of land barons. 17 MDC councillors are in court on charges of corruption and we will not let them get away with it…we have regularalised the settlement in Caledonia and we are now building a police station and a hospital in the area.

“Let me pay tribute to you and the Chinese president for the grant to build the new Parliament building and building will start next year.”

Mbare Chimurenga Choir entertains delegates. Pictures by Munyaradzi Chamalimba

Mbare Chimurenga Choir entertains delegates. Pictures by Munyaradzi Chamalimba

1615: Cde Prisca Mupfumira says “Secretaries for lands in the party should ensure that inputs being distributed to the vulnerable 300 000 families are distributed because some people tasked with distribution will hold on to the maize and then use it for elections. People should go to their provinces and access inputs and demand them from the District Administrators as the process started last month. Children whose fees are being paid under BEAM must not be chased away from school.

“Reforms in the labour market are continuing as stated in the President’s 10 Point Plan…..there shall be no retrenchment as long as people are working hard. There shall be regular inspection of the civil service, some Government departments need streamlining. Some people were accessing pensions and salaries of people long dead. SSB will be linked to the Register General so that this stops. NSSA now has a new board that replaced the former board which was not performing well. We have registered the National Building Society which will be capitalised to the tune of $30 million to ensure that people can build on their stands. PSMAS is also being looked at and we are doing something of which we will inform you in due time.”

1600: Cde Douglas Mombeshora is now addressing the gathering and says “We now need production…the land reform has brought sanctions and we cannot let our leaders down. Government acquired 14, 5 million hectares with 900 00 hectares remaining. We are in the process of regularising land distribution in areas we made mistakes. Regards the 99 year leases we are working to ensure that holders can approach banks and access loans.

“In 2106 we shall have the land audit, people should not scared because it’s an audit that will help Government plan and redistribute land as well as find land that is not being used. The Land Commission will be put in place after the Bill has been presented in Parliament…vehicles have been acquired to ensure that the process will be smooth. Others have been given farms that are too big especially those that are not being used. We are looking at former farm workers who were not eligible to get land but the new Constitution now allows for that.

President Mugabe plants a tree at Baobab Primary School

President Mugabe plants a tree at Baobab Primary School

 1546: Cde Sithembiso Nyoni is now on the podium says her ministry is working on projects like in Mashonaland were they are making Masawu jam. “They are also making powder from the Baobab fruit as well as oil and jam from the Marula fruit. Every province has to engage in value addition. The ministry is also assisting in the production of healthy snacks and the children enjoy snacks that are full of chemicals so people are making roasted pumpkin seed snacks which are quite nourishing.

“The products have been coded and have gone through thorough research and ready for exportation. We are consulting with Minister Chinamasa to ensure that every cow hide in the village is accounted for….we grateful for the Ministry of local Government for providing space for vendors…without formalising the SMEs we will be joking. An SME in Marondera is making walking sticks and jewellery from horns”

1530: Cde Ignatius Chombo is now speaking on behalf of Cde Joseph Made.  He says food comes from the soil and agriculture brings forth food.

“The country’s harvest was not as good as expected but we have 160 000 metric tonnes from the country’s farmers. Inputs are being distributed to vulnerable groups, Presidential Input Scheme has also started. This year, there were a lot of tonnes for small grains and these are being distributed. Contract farming is being done well in tobacco, maize and soya beans. FAO has provided funds for the supplementary feeding of livestock in Matabeleland. CSC is being looked at for resuscitation.

“Milk production has increased, in 2017 1 000 heifers will be imported by the Agriculture ministry for small scale farmers…resuscitation of ARDA is also being looked at…Government has a number of programmes set to resuscitate irrigation schemes. We have people complaining that Agricultural Extension Officers are not readily available so plans are underway to ensure each scheme has an officer who stays there. ”

1516: Cde Mike Bimha says the papers talk of company closures and retrenchment but never write of companies that have been resuscitated as well investors coming into the country because of Government policies. United Refineries was 4 years ago not productive but is now at 100% utilisation. Archer is now manufacturing products for exportation, Paramount Garments is also exporting, Cairns Holdings is now fully productive, in the dairy industry we saw new investments with companies bringing in new equipment.

Blue Ribbons had been defunct but now has seen a new investor from East Africa. Bata is now looking to export after moving from 5% capacity utilisation to 70% from 300 employees to 1 000 employees. Anchor Yeast has seen a $8,4 million investment. Sable Chemicals will import ammonium because their previous method of operation demanded more power. Capri bought new equipment to increase production from5 000 to 18 000 per month. 2016 will see new investors coming in like Pepsi. There are far more companies that are too numerous to mention that have been resuscitated by Government policies.

Ministers in attendance.

Ministers in attendance.

1502: Cde Walter Chidhakwa is now on the podium. He says everyone knows the country has resources that are soil and the minerals that must be used well to the benefit of the other.  Miners and farmers should work together. The  Mines and Minerals Bill will deal with this relationship so that this relationship provides food and minerals. The country has 19 of the world’s 21 strategic minerals.

“Everywhere we mine we have to make sure that we mine with the environment in mind…we are bringing a system to manage our mining claims that will use the Global Positioning System (GPS).”

He says there is going to be a Tentalite Buying Centre so that one place buys Tentalite.

1455: VP Mnangagwa is now addressing the gathering. He’s inviting 10 ministers to make brief presentations.

1453: He quotes a Chinese proverb “When a people are of the same mind, they can move a mountain” and ends his address.

1450: He says one of the major stumbling blocks is corruption. “We are encouraging savings because we cannot develop as a country if we don’t save..we are providing incentives to encourage long term savings…interest rates should come down to 6% for people who pay but they will range from 6% to 18%”

1447: He promises the rehabilitation of the railway line.  There are 57 000 stands that have been serviced and the target will be met by 2018.

1445: Government has provided funds for the completion of Tokwe-Mukosi dam.

1442: He says progress is underway regards the Women’s Bank and US$10 million has been availed by banks to the youth.

1440: “We have decided that we take over the debts of ZiscoSteel so we make it attractive to would be investors…Cde Bimha on what has been happening in industry. Government has taken over Caps Holdings…with regards diamond mining the Minister of Mines will pursue the consolidation but will continue to mine three concessions under one company.

“The first trucks to ship exports of chrome started in November..we are also targeting the resuscitation of dormant mines like Kamativi and Mashava. We have made a huge contribution to the infrastructure in the medical field.”

Delegates follow proceedings.

Delegates follow proceedings.

1435: “We have to look elsewhere because agriculture is suffering from the devastating drought. We are guided by the ZimAsset blueprint..the 10 Point Plan makes understanding ZimAsset easier. Government has so far cleared all payments to maize farmers and wheat farmers so as to assist them this farming season. We have enough maize stock for 10 months but we are mobilising resources to last us until March 2017.

“This coming year we are going to open up 11290 hectares for irrigation to support 3850 households…the Ministry of Lands is going to produce secure boundaries for our farmers..in manufacturing, I’m a bit disappointed as it has not performed as well as it should have.”

1428: He says there factors militating against the economy which are sanctions and debt burden. He says we must engage nations that imposed sanctions so that the country works with other countries. “We must be friends with everyone and an enemy to noone”

1424: Cde Chinamasa is now on the podium

1419: VP Mnangagwa has finished his vote of thanks and Cde Kasukuwere is now on the podium. There is going to be a musical break before Secretary for Legal Affairs Cde Patrick Chinamasa presents progress on ZimAsset.

1417: The Central Committee Report has been adopted by the 15th National People’s Conference.

1416:  “As our late VP Nkomo put it ‘unity begins with you, begins me, begins with all of us’.”

1410: “The Youth League must remain grounded in the party’s founding policies…the youth are the leaders of tomorrow but they must mould themselves today in order to be leaders tomorrow.”

1406: “This young man was born by the humble Ambuya Bona, we salute you, long live President Mugabe….the memories and experiences of our past have the ingredients to make us succeed..cadres must use the party’s constitution for introspection..political discipline begins with respecting the party constitution.”

Members of the diplomatic corps follow proceedings.

Members of the diplomatic corps follow proceedings.

1403: “Zvakaoma Cde President kutenda mashoko amambo nokuti hauzivi kuti pakutaura kwaunenge uchiita vachati apa aresva kutaura…hapana chatinotaura ose mashoko tinoatsigira. Your Excellency I’m humbled to give the vote of thanks….I want to express our profound gratitude not only for the wise words…we commend your leadership during the economical turbulence we faced during the year”.

“Shoko rinoti kana uri mufudzi wewhai ngadzinzwe izwi rako…dzichitevera iwe uri mberi.”

1357: VP Mnangagwa is on the podium and chants pasi nemanduu! He invites himself to give the vote of thanks and move the motion of the adoption of the keynote address.

1356: President Mugabe has now ended his keynote address. An address in which he blasted factionalist, called for the conference to seek ways to develop the nation, fulfill the promise of ZimAsset and the protection of the country’s natural resources as that was the reason the liberation war was fought.

1354: “Pamberi nekubatana!”

1349: “Let the party stand, the party must stand on the basis of our membership and comradeship so let’s be one and work for the better of Zanu-PF, a people’s cause so we remain a people’s party….we must learn the lesson of our history, that’s how we have one, to work for the people..mose maneta ka? Toti zvino, ngative nechido mumoyo yedu, kune kutukana kuripo, kusanzwisisana kumaprovince..kunyeyana kuripo, ngatiti pasi nekunyeya.

1344: President Mugabe has blasted those who fan factionalism saying he doesn’t want to hear of it…”Kana zvichinzi ava ndeva VaMnangagwa ava ndeva VaMphoko, ko vanguwo ndevapi?”

1341: “We will be discussing with you aspects of life as they affect our people be it agriculture, commerce..we cannot succeed if we continue quarreling and quarreling, we cannot be a party associated with success if we are divided for they say united we stand and divided we fall….Cde SK Moyo, Cde Mudenda, Cde Mphoko, Cde Mnangagwa comrade comrade…there’s no comrade who is more comrade than others…whether you went to war or supported the war you’re a comrade in the party..you’re a farmer unorima nzungu and you support the party, you’re a comrade in the party.”

Zanu-PF First Secretary President Mugabe and secretary for Women's League First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe follow proceedings.

Zanu-PF First Secretary President Mugabe and secretary for Women’s League First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe follow proceedings.

1329: “The settlers who took our land are coming back…they go to a headman and a chief and say we want to help you since you don’t have tractors and they agree. They are lots of such clever farmers practically in every province. …policy yedu inoramba and tichange tichiita ma audit ema farms kuti tiongorere zvirikuitika..Mash East was the worst kunana Kaukonde.

“Kwanga kune varungu vanga vakagarika vachiti Kaukonde anotichengeta, over 43 farmers…wherever you have water, wherever you had established water we will come with Brazilian equipment. The next stage we will bring equipment for those that are on their own.”

1317: “Tikadyara miti yakawanda inotibatsira kubvisa hutsi watisingaoni (carbon dioxide) zvobatsira kuti mvura inaye…asi miti ine simba yekumedza carbon dioxide iyoyo..kutema miti, let’s not be in the habit of cutting trees….tikaisa magetsi kune nzvimbo dzakasiyana siyana zvinobatisra pakusatema miti..the use of solar, hydro electricity is cleaner.”

1310: “Even after that exploitation by Anglo-America and Rio Tinto we still have gold deposits but oil doesn’t go that way…there was a meeting in France on climate and that meeting was a very serious one, it was to remind us of the world that climate change is real that whereas some places are running dry others are getting too much water and those that were a few metres above sea level are being threatened now. In our own case it’s the loss of our forests as the rains diminish.”

1306: “With the resources that they are delivering….our countries of Africa will certainly to take off and transform, some will take their time to transform…some of the natural resources even the oil they are discovering is first the oil of France and America.”

1303: “There can never be any challenges that beat the challenges we faced in the liberation struggle…that is why we still say even though people were imprisoned..put in Keeps like goats but our people stood up, you refused to surrender and your children, boys and girls sacrificed their lives. Therefore what we have is a Zimbabwe that is sovereign..that is why notions like tribalism, personalities and so on we cannot accommodate them against that background.

“Well, all the time we have said without our wings, the two leagues, the body could not swim naturally…we had said we guided by ZimAsset, the notion of ZimAsset has now penetrated the mind of AU members, we must industrialise..we brought it in there..it was also the talk in Johannesburg with President Xi…but industrialisation cannot occur without production. We thank the Chinese for giving strength to those ideas.”

1256: “The opposition did not know what hit them in 2013, they had hoped that after the inclusive Government they had built themselves ana Biti…Biti calling himself the best Finance minister in the world and they thought it would a walk over, yes, a walkover by who? A walkover by us…it surprised us didn’t it?. They said the elections were not free and fair..but the observers said they were free.

“The MDCs and the little ones didn’t have any message but power…now we are the people oriented party, we would want to know how the people live, what their problems are, welfare problems, other problems might have to do with the education of their children and we get down to the roots..so let’s not ever distance ourselves from the people. In their humble circumstances the people are able to say these are the ones that take care of us when we are in difficulties.”

1249: “I want to say that the choice of this venue was not a choice done out of favouratism, no, as you know we host this conference by rotation..and we will come back to Mat North when we have done another 10 years…I congratulate them, at the same time on behalf of the party for the excellence of the facilities they have put at our disposal.

“When we come here we have the joy of seeing the Zambezi and the Victoria Falls..we know that during the liberation struggle the ,mighty Zambezi was an obstacle.”

1245: “I welcome you to the 15th National People’s Conference….it’s a conference we are holding during a period when things are not as good as they should be, the weather is bad, there is drought everywhere…I know that our Government and ministers, various ministers will be giving you their experiences and the content of their subjects….we are happy that in spite of the fact that we had a bad season for now we have enough maize..VaChinamasa vachakuudzai kuti chibage chatinacho will last us till when.

“I want to thank you all the provinces for coming..i hope the arrangements that have been made are arrangements that have bee more satisfactory compared to other arrangements that have been made at short notice..but I think this time we have organised ourselves well.”

1239: “You are making the people pay more on a project which should cost them less for your own benefit….President Xi says this project, yes, we will help but we will help more if you give us projects that you think will assist in your industrialisation….if you’re an engineer for a certain project do it well and don’t cheat, we will discover you.”

1235: President Mugabe has blasted underhand dealings when it comes to cooperative projects with other countries.

1234: “Let’s be orderly, let’s be systematic….pakuita basa redu imomo ndomatino ratidza kuti takatwasanuka here patsika dzedu..tirivanhu vanoremekedza musangano wedu here?….kana munhu akanganisa tavapakati tinomubisa asi kana kune team ingava Politburo kana Cabinet vanga vachiita basa rakanaka tinovabisirei.

Tine maproject atiri kuita aya, tine mashandiro pamwe atiri kuita nedzimwe nyika..kwazvo kwazvo nemakambani ekuChina. Zvino kana murimi manzi chikurukurai neavo verimwe divi..kunozoita vamwe vekudivi redu vanoti tinoda zvekuti tisati tavaka.”

Zanu-PF First Secretary President Mugabe addresses the conference.

Zanu-PF First Secretary President Mugabe addresses the conference.

1228: “Hapana wekwa ngana, vese vanhu ndeve musangano. Tose tiri kumusangano iwowo unotungamirwa nehutungamiriri huri pamberi pano…vana Tsvangirai varikuti hekani waro vachiti dai zvaenda mberi asi isu tine katsika kekuti haviendereri mberi…ehe we should stop it yes shuwa. Saka tanga tasvika pekuti panga pane kupindirwa kwevamwe vatisingade kuti vapindire panyaya idzi.

“Let’s stop that, we are ruining the party that way..gwara reparty riripo.”

1223: “PaConference tinoungana kuti tione basa rinenge rakaitwa pagore….handifunge kuti tanga tasvika panonyatso gutsikana, tingati takaedza…pahurongwa weConference ino tichange tichikudzai kumira kwataita mumusangano…kana Baba naMai vane mhuri munoita mabishi, zvinodiwa kuti zvigumbu zvichiteererwa…tiri mhuri imwe chete, makakatanwa haashaikwe, kutukana hakushaikwe kana kukanda zvibhakera hazvishaikwe asi tinozogara pasi toona kuti gwara remusangano tiri kuritevera here?”

1217: “Ndoda kuvamba nekumhoresa second secretary Va Emmerson Mnangagwa na Mai, nekumhoresazve second secretary VaMphoko na Mai, navaChombo handizivi kana vauya naMai hatina kuudzwa..pamberi nekubatana!”

1214: President Mugabe is now on the podium and chants the party slogan.

1213: VP Mphoko has now invited President Mugabe to make his keynote address.

1211: “Someone who rapes a day old child up to 16 years should be castrated, 16 to 65 imprisoned for life, 65 up to other vulnerable ages should be castrated..we should take all deliberation seriously..delegates are allowed to make valuable contributions. Cdes and friends you are all supposed to be mindful of our surroundings which are filled with wild animals..i urge you to enjoy the conference and the scenic beauty which is unique to Victoria Falls.

The Chinese president, Xi Jinping, who was here recently said this of the President “” We regard and respect you…as a seasoned leader in Africa and we the people of China respect you”

1207: “Zanu-PF should always push for total employment for it’s people..it is important to always remember that this hard won independence came about by a protracted struggle. It is important to honour the two armies Zipra and Zanla led by the revolutionaries President Mugabe and Cde Nkomo…factionalism will destroy the party, factionalism, Your Excellency, will dissect that party..if it happens amongst leaders it will destroy..we should concentrate on delivering discernible results for the people.

“It is impossible to separate the First Secretary and the First Lady…I want to underscore that those who are pursuing factionalism are u8ndermining our constitution and should be punished…as a country we must put a stop to corruption forthwith..we need to draw a line that from now on anyone found on the wrong side should be punished without favour.”

1158: VP Mphoko is now on the podium.

1155: VP Mnangagwa is back on the podium and invites Cde Phelekezela Mphoko and asks him to introduce President Mugabe.

1138: Cde Chombo is now introducing the provincial delegations led by their chairpersons who chant the slogan.

1133: Cde Mathema finished his speech and VP Mnangagwa has asked Cde Chombo to present the delegates to the President.

1124: “Our ancestors left us Zimbabwe, a country so rich that made Rhodes cry with tears of envy, envy that made him brutalise and colonise us for the British…Your Excellency…you gave us our land back and the means of production..that is what our ancestors want, that what our mothers want, that is what we want, that is what we and that is what the youths want.”

1121: “I welcome Zanu-PF to Mosi-oa-Tunya…the only revolutionary party, the only party that will protect our independence…the only party that has given back the land..we are the only party in the country led by Robert Gabriel Mugabe. We are the only party that knows we have only one centre of power and leadership. Our party has one ideology and philosophy that says we belong to one party.”

1117: VP Mnangagwa as chairperson is now addressing the gathering. He has now invited Cde Cain Mathema, Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs minister.

1115: “I welcome you the delegates and I want you to feel at home.”

1114: “Schools in the province need new furniture and books. The roads are death traps especially in the rural areas. We thank you Your Excellency for facilitating the reopening of Kamativi mine which has the potential of employing 3 000 people. I hope the opening will happen soon”

1106: He says the province is proud to host the conference making it the second event of national importance hosted by the province after the 21st February Movement celebrations held earlier in the year.

1104: Matabeleland North Provincial Chairman Cde Richard Moyo is now on the podium.

1057: Secretary for administration Cde Ignatius Chombo is reading out the conference’s agenda and the party’s constitutional stipulations. VP Mnangagwa is going to chair today’s session.

1048: National political commissar Cde Saviour Kasukuwere is the Master of Ceremony.

1047: The National Anthem is being played.

1044: Zanu-PF first secretary President Mugabe and secretary for Women’s League and First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe have arrived.

President Mugabe and First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe arrive at Elephant Hills Hotel.

President Mugabe and First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe arrive at Elephant Hills Hotel. Picture by Eliah Saushoma

1040: This year’s theme is “Consolidating People’s Power Through Zim-Asset”

1039: The second secretaries and also the country’s Vice Presidents Cdes Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko have just arrived at the conference venue.

1037: Zanu-PF spokesperson Cde Simon Khaya-Moyo says the conference is not an elective one as the party already had its elective congress last year in which it was resolved that only the President is electable and all other positions are by appointment at the First Secretary’s prerogative.

1033: Delegates are making their way to the venue in preparation for the official opening by President Mugabe.

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