Fungai Lupande Senior Reporter
Mashonaland Central Province welcomed Air Chief Marshal Perrance Shiri (Retired) into the province on Saturday following his recent appointment as a Zanu-PF Politburo member and as the Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement.
The province thanked President Emmerson Mnangagwa for the gesture.
Speaking at celebrations held at Air Chief Marshal Shiri’s Hopedale Farm in Shamva to mark his key appointments, the guest of honour, Zanu-PF national Political Commissar Lieutenant-General Engelbert Rugeje (Rtd) thanked the President for the promotion.
“Air Chief Marshal Shiri (Rtd) is a great farmer,” he said.
“The President did not make a mistake because he saw a lot of experience in him. I met him in 1980 before I joined the army.
“Mashonaland Central province is always a winner. 2018 is an election year and we want the province to keep its culture. We have refresher courses coming in a few months from the top leadership to the bottom because these positions are for people who know the party strategy. Buying positions is what affected the party.
“The resolution at the Central Committee was to retain district coordinating committees and we are coming up with strategies on how to move forward with the party. We also want standard slogans for the party. During the war, slogans were decided by the Central Committee and we were told the reasons for them. Let’s not fight each other, instead, let’s have a forgiving, uniting and helping spirit.”
Air Chief Marshal Shiri (Rtd) thanked Mashonaland Central for warmly receiving him.
“I humble myself before you and look forward to learn a lot from you in working together to strengthen the party,” he said.
“I bade farewell to the Air Force of Zimbabwe and I wish Air Marshal Elson Moyo, who is now the Commander Air Force of Zimbabwe, well.
“I am starting a new journey. Air Marshal Moyo came to give me to you. They were advised to make sure I arrive safely. That is unity. We will always complement each other.
“The late Vice President John Landa Nkomo had a slogan: peace begins with me, peace begins with you and peace begins with all of us. Peace starts in the family, let’s unite and build the party.
“There is power in unity. Let’s not persecute and chase away people who have not committed any offence. Those we can bring back, let’s teach them the strategy of the party.”
Air Chief Marshal Shiri (Rtd) said since President Mnangagwa was talking about politics and the economy, the province needed to have organised mining without destroying the environment.
“We have a lot of artisanal miners in the province, let’s have organised mining to uplift ourselves and the economy,” he said.
“We have many dams and let’s utilise them. Distribution of irrigation equipment must be transparent.”
Air Chief Marshal Shiri (Rtd) reminded illegally resettled farmers to vacate the land immediately and urged the police to make sure that the law was followed.
Mashonaland Central Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Advocate Martin Dinha said Air Chief Marshal Shiri (Rtd) was befitting, tried and tested.
“Let’s respect him because respect is discipline and discipline is the way to party strategy,” he said.
Zanu-PF Mashonaland Central chairperson Cde Kazembe Kazembe thanked President Mnangagwa for the appointment of Air Chief Marshal Shiri (Rtd), saying he was a humble and approachable leader.
“Air Chief Marshal Shiri (Rtd) has vast experience and is a seasoned soldier,” he said.
“Agriculture is the heartbeat of the economy and it is now in Mashonaland Central.”