Fungi Kwaramba Political Editor
To leave no one and no place behind is both a goal and prerequisite for sustainable growth, embracing it, through devolving power, is, therefore, a building stone in the country’s quest to become an upper-middle-class economy by 2030.
Thus it is befitting that this year’s Independence Day Celebrations, scheduled for Bulawayo, are aptly themed, “Leaving no one and no place behind” as the Second Republic robustly leads the transformation of the country through inclusive development that permeates all facets of life.
Leaving no one and no place behind has become synonymous with the leadership of President Mnangagwa, who has made it a buzz-phrase that has found resonance not only among the people but is also being felt as people’s lives, be it in rural or urban areas change for the better.
Tirelessly working for the nation and breaking boundaries, President Mnangagwa has traversed the length and breadth of the country taking development to the people even in areas that were marginalised under the First Republic.
For instance, just last weekend he was in Binga and interacted with villagers at Siabuwa Business Centre.
As part of a myriad of people-tailored and responsive Government policies, the President availed fishing boats to the community, whose life is closely linked with the Zambezi River through fishing, as the Second Republic devolves power through devolution, giving decision making to communities.
Obviously, communities appreciate their own challenges and have a way of coming up with solutions unique to their needs.
Challenges faced by communities in Binga, a place in the Natural Region 5 cannot be the same as those of people in Chimanimani, a region that has favourable climatic conditions.
Interestingly, the Second Republic has come up with policies that respond to both the people of Binga and Chimanimani, as the Government implements development that leaves no one and no place behind as enunciated in the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS 1), an economic blueprint that seeks to accelerate the agricultural revolution and modernisation of the sector
The NDS 1 is also broadening the value chains and the beneficiation of the country’s vast primary commodities, exploitation, and growth of the mining sector and also leveraging on ICTs to drive an innovation development agenda and industrial growth.
Apart from that, the modernisation and development of infrastructure, energy generation and power development as well as the ongoing ease-of-doing-business reforms are all measures meant to ensure Zimbabwe become an investment destination of choice.
So, while people in Binga will have boats to fish through a Presidential scheme, Chimanimani has a Presidential Rural Horticulture Transformation Plan, a scheme that is set to boost rural incomes, improve family nutrition and open the way for local food processing.
But that does not mean that villagers in Binga will be left behind, nay, they will so much be on board as the Second Republic has come up with irrigation facilities across the country to climate-proof the country’s agricultural sector against weather vagaries.
Therefore, with development that “leaves no one and no place behind” everyone is being catered for as President Mnangagwa lives up to the promise he made during his inaugural speech in 2017 that, “while we cannot change the past, there is a lot we can do in present and future to give our nation a different, positive direction”.
Indeed, a few weeks before Zimbabwe celebrates its 42nd birthday, there is much to look and marvel at – the roads, the bridges, the dams and even projects that have stalled for decades have been completed or are nearing completion – all this being premised on the buzzword “development which leaves no one and no place behind”.
Addressing thousands of Zanu PF supporters, who attended the Binga star rally, President Mnangagwa encapsulated what the Second Republic stands for when he apologised to the people of Binga, because since Independence in 1980 there had never seen a visit by a head of State to the area.
“From today we have agreed with my team that we will regularly come here,” he said.
“Two weeks ago, I sent my deputy, Cde Kembo Mohadi, to come and speak to chiefs. We want to address all your concerns and we will sit down with you and see to it that we fix all your problems.
“I am happy to come here today after you invited me to meet with you people of Siabuwa.
“Zimbabwe got independent in 1980 and for many years, more than 30 years under President Mugabe, we didn’t get to come here”.
Many people from across the country can relate as indeed the President has visited their communities, engaging them and often bringing projects that are designed to respond to their needs.
The focus is not only in rural areas, but also in urban areas where the ruling party had to step in and fill the service delivery vacuum that was left by the opposition through his Urban Renewal Agenda,
This theme represents the Government’s unequivocal commitment to eradicate poverty and elevate the livelihoods of its citizens regardless of location, even those in the Diaspora have been included.