The Sunday Mail
The Sunday News Political Editor
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa says the way Zimbabweans have readily understood and embraced the concept of devolution has been a pleasant surprise, pointing out that the country has now entered a new era of equity and even development.
In his closing address at the 17th Zanu-PF Annual National People’s Conference in Esigodini, Matabeleland South, yesterday, President Mnangagwa said there was urgent need to close the rural-urban development gap and build an upper middle-income economy by 2030.
“I have been happily surprised by the reception and quick understanding of the concept of devolution and creation of provincial economies by our communities. We must work hard, with a renewed sense of urgency, to close the development gap between the urban and rural communities.
“The revitalisation of rural areas must be uttermost in our endeavours. The days of lopsided development must be a thing of the past. All our people are important to us, everybody must be on board, no one must be left behind,” said President Mnangagwa.
“The prosperity we seek to achieve by 2030 must be for all our people in very corner of the country. Our desire for better and more modern roads, schools, health facilities must be realised across the entire country. As we are determined to modernise, build and industrialise our beloved country, no one should be left behind.”
President Mnangagwa said conference resolutions would help his Government better serve people’s needs.
“We value all the constructive contributions, with regards to all the sub-sectors of the economy; agriculture, mining, manufacturing, tourism, infrastructure, energy, ICTs and social services.
“As conference has directed, we will accelerate the various strategies that will lead to the modernisation of our agriculture sector and ultimately increased production and productivity,” said President Mnangagwa.
He called on the ruling party to be at the forefront of communicating the development agenda and the actual work done to improve livelihoods.
“The relevant departments of the party must play a central role in publicising our policies, programmes and reform measures to allow for the tracking of progress, monitoring and evaluation by the people,” he said.
While officially opening the conference on Friday, President Mnangagwa said his Government was serious about implementing devolution and decentralisation.
He took a swipe at divisive elements in the country calling for secession, reiterating that Zimbabwe was constitutionally a unitary state and one rich in diversity.
“In implementing devolution, let us always remain mindful that we are a unitary state, with diverse cultures, languages, beliefs and religions. We must therefore use this concept for economic advancement as a vehicle to propel development. Devolution must improve the quality of life of all our people, in every corner of the country, as we strive to become a middle income economy by 2030,” said Zanu-PF’s President and First Secretary.