Mashudu Netsianda Bulawayo Bureau
THE forthcoming Zanu-PF 17th National People’s Conference in Esigodini will primarily focus on the Government’s economic trajectory of transforming Zimbabwe into an upper middle income economy by 2030, Vice-President Kembo Mohadi has said.
Speaking soon after touring Umzingwane High School, the venue of the conference, on Thursday, VP Mohadi said the economic development of Zimbabwe will take centre stage when delegates converge in Esigodini, Matabeleland South province, for the annual indaba, which runs from Monday December 10 to Friday December 15.
The conference,whose theme is “Zimbabwe is Open for Business: In unity and peace towards an upper middle income economy by 2030”, is expected to attract 5 000 delegates drawn from the country’s 10 provinces.
“The focus of this Government is on turning around the economy hence the thrust of this conference is on economic development. We agreed that there should be devolution, which means that provinces are going to have their own budgets and therefore the conference is going to emphasise on that,” he said.
“We want provinces to come up with their own priorities. We believe as the new dispensation that the local people are the ones that know best what they want because we can’t just be doing things from the centre.”
VP Mohadi said Ministers of State and provincial administrators will be given targets in line with President Mnangagwa’s vision of transforming Zimbabwe into an upper middle income economy by 2030.
“The Ministers of State and provincial administrators are expected to work tirelessly to achieve the set targets because we want to see a difference within a period of five years. We have given ourselves a target to say 12 years from now Zimbabwe should have transformed into an upper middle income economy. We are very determined to achieve this although there are teething problems. These challenges are expected just like a woman giving birth has to go through labour pains for her to be delighted at the end,” he said.
VP Mohadi singled out the shortage of foreign currency. He said he was confident that the shortages will be addressed as the Government was working on securing a number of lines of credit.
Commenting on the preparations for the conference, VP Mohadi said: “I am impressed because the bulk of infrastructure is complete and what is left is the partitioning and a few other areas to be worked on. I made a brief tour of the venue and I am confident that by the time we host our conference, everything will be in order.”
He said it has become the norm that whenever the party holds its annual conferences, the venue gets a facelift and during the conference locals enjoy good business.
VP Mohadi said the conference will also provide an opportunity for the party to market itself to prospective members.