President Emmerson Mnangagwa says Matabeleland North Province is endowed with vast natural resource that should be exploited for the growth of the economy.

Addressing thousands of party supporters at Somuhlolo Stadium in Lupane today, President Mnangagwa said better times lie ahead not only for the province but for all the country’s provinces.

“No province is without natural resources. In the case of Matabeleland North, this is one of the richest provinces in the country. There are all kinds of minerals here be it gold, diamonds, tin and even gas. We want to set up fertiliser manufacturing firms here, we want to exploit all the resources for economic development,” said President Mnangagwa.

The President also acknowledged that Zimbabwe is 20 years behind in terms of development, but said things are to change soon through devolution of power.

He said the new dispensation is in the process of reviving several mines across the country and implementing various projects in all sectors of the economy.

“We want jobs in the country and we know that for economic development, we must plan sector by sector be it in agriculture, mining or infrastructure development,” he said, revealing plans to dualise the Beitbridge – Bulawayo – Victoria Falls road and scale up the command agriculture programme.

Speaking about the Command Livestock Programme, President Mnangagwa said: “We were in Matabeleland South and gave 1 660 head of cattle to people there. Today we distributed more than a thousand cattle for the people in Matabeleland North.”

He added that after meeting traditional leaders and churches in Zimbabwe, he is more determined to implement his vision of a country that open for business.

President Mnangagwa said with the new economic trajectory that the new dispensation has taken, the ruling party is confident of winning the 30 July harmonised elections peacefully.

“We want peace and harmony, we want to win the elections peacefully and rule the country peacefully. We have election observers in the country, they should feel at home, feel accepted, and us as a big party, we don’t want you to trouble them and even all other smaller parties. The observers will go back after elections and we will remain here ruling. Those who are not part of Zanu PF will always remain under our rule. Others opt for demonstrations but the demonstrations do not vote,” he said.

On the events leading to the ushering of the new dispensation, the President said it took the bold sons of Matabeleland North province to shepherd change in November 2017.

“I want to thank all Zimbabweans for their support when I skipped the border. Minister Obert Mpofu, who is now the party’s Secretary for Administration, chaired the historic Central Committee, while the Speaker of Parliament, Advocate Jacob Mudenda, also from this province, played a key role in chairing impeachment procedure. This province should be proud of this feat,” he said.

The President also said the new dispensation will always honour the country’s founding fathers and heroes, among them Mugabe, Dr Joshua Nkomo and General Josiah Magama Tongogara.