BY SHARON SIBINDI
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has promised to create more economic zones in Matabeleland North province to capitalise on investment opportunities that would benefit the area.
Mnangagwa made the remarks in a speech read on his behalf on Saturday by Zanu PF second secretary Kembo Mohadi while addressing a rally at Tshefunye, Tsholotsho in Matabeleland North.
“Your rich cultural and natural resources that you carry as a province should benefit you first before anyone else.
“We need to develop more economic zones in this province as this will ensure that we capitalise on various investment opportunities for your benefit,” Mnangagwa said.
“This province is predominantly a tourist destination with rich flora and fauna.
“Unfortunately most of our local people here in Matabeleland North do not have the opportunity to take part in the tourism value chain.”
He said the ruling Zanu PF party would be working on best ways to empower Matabeleland youths so that they could take part in tourism value chains.
“We will avail hunting and fishing licences to youths and we will also reserve a quota for all youths who want to participate in tourism.
“Moreover, every other project that we will implement such as the construction of Gwai/Shangani Dam should benefit you first.
“So the notion that we are building the Gwai/Shangani Dam to benefit Bulawayo alone is not true. Bulawayo already has access to six dams. This dam will have overwhelming benefits for this province,” he said.
Mnangagwa said completion of the Gwai-Shangani Dam would create a green belt for irrigation, increase household incomes for the people of Matabeleland, and locals in Tsholotsho.
“As Zanu PF, we understand that prosperity is the price of freedom and if we do not deliver that prosperity then freedom becomes non-existent.
“But the path to attaining this prosperity is only possible if we put our heads together and our country first.
“We went to the liberation struggle not for outsiders to come and develop our country, but for us to collectively develop this country under conditions of peace and unity.”
On food shortages in Tsholotsho, Mnangagwa promised that he would avail maize and other social grants.
“I am informed that here in Tshefunye, villagers in Makutula, Matshokoko, Nganunu among many others walk long distances to fetch water from Manzamnyama River. However, I understand that borehole sites have been identified yet there is no progress up to today.
“As a party we believe that access to water is a God-given right and no one should be denied or struggle to access clean water.”
He promised to ensure that villages have boreholes until the Gwai-Shangani Dam is completed in December.
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