Michael Magoronga Midlands Correspondent
Newly-appointed Midlands Provincial Affairs Minister Larry Mavima has outlined his work plan, pledging to ensure that the province plays its part in turning around the fortunes of the country.
Minister Mavima was sworn in on Monday and takes over the affairs of the province – an industrial hub – from former Minister Cde Owen Ncube, who received plaudits from President Mnangagwa for his work ethic.
Minister Mavima said he was humbled by the appointment which he said came as a surprise and pledged to work closely with President Mnangagwa in turning the province into an economic powerhouse.
“I am humbled by President Mnangagwa’s trust in me and I hope to repay him for the trust. Going forward, I will begin with the immediate task at hand, that is to ensure that we eradicate the cholera and typhoid outbreaks that recently hit some parts of the province,” he said.
He said although he would get the finer details when he gets briefed by his secretariat, his plans were to ensure that local authorities supply constant and clean water to residents and remove vendors from undesignated areas.
In the short to medium terms, Minister Mavima said he was ready for the task ahead saying Midlands, an industrial and mineral hub, had a big role to play in ensuring that the country achieves middle income economy by 2030.
“My short tedium plan is to turn the province into an economic powerhouse. Midlands is endowed with a vast of untapped mineral resources as well as vast of underutilised agricultural land. We should get people together and see how best we can take advantage of the natural resources that we are blessed with,” said Minister Mavima.
The minister said he will come up with organised mining structures for small-scale miners as well as to revive more irrigation schemes in the province.
“As you know, a lot is expected from this province since we are an industrial hub. My major aim also is to play a key role in the revival of companies like Zisco, Lancashire, Sable Chemicals, Sino Cement, Shabanie-Mashaba Gold Mine. If operational these companies can go a long way in creating employment and contribute to the economic turnaround fortunes,” he said.
Human capital was also in abundance in the province which he said needed to be tapped into.
An ad hoc committee, said the minister, would be set up to work closely with the provincial council through his office.
“My other immediate task is to come up with an ad hoc committee made up of people from the mining, agriculture and commercial sector. These people will be working hand-in-glove with the provincial council through my office as we push for shared benefits for everyone in the province. Gone are the days when our natural resources would benefit a few individuals,” he said.
He said he was not under any pressure given Midlands was home to President Mnangagwa.
“In fact, it brings comfort to one because you know you are in safe hands. However, that is not to say I should relax, if anything I should work harder to maintain the reputation of the President. Our roads, our infrastructure in general, will need to show that indeed the President is from this province,” he said.