President Emmerson Mnangagwa says provincial councils will be instituted soon as they are provided for in the constitution of Zimbabwe so as to ensure government’s devolution thrust is fully implemented.
The President was delivering his keynote address while commissioning the Hopeville Housing Project and a tomato processing plant in Bulawayo.
President Mnangagwa said the two projects are critical building blocks towards the revival of Bulawayo and he congratulated various stakeholders involved for turning Matabeleland green and for their creativity.
He said the housing project and the tomato plant are in line with government’s call to modernise the economy, adding that he is optimistic the plant will enhance economic growth of Bulawayo province and create employment.
“We can see it’s very possible to make Matabeleland green if we work together in harmony. Am told the plant will produce 30 tonnes of tomato juice every day, yet they are unable to satisfy demand…that means there are opportunities for those who are talented.
“No one should be saying asilamsebenzi (I am unemployed)…opportunities are there…if you don’t have land, come forward and ask for it…you can form groups and provide produce for the plant…,” said President Mnangagwa.
President Mnangagwa said it is important to develop agro based industries to process meat, vegetables and other products, adding that his administration will ensure that the nation realises value from MOUs signed with various governments because “things have changed…there is a new broom”.
He was impressed by employment created by the tomato plant, where women have been employed, including a young graduate from National University of Science and Technology running the plant as a manager.
President Mnangagwa said the plant has created income for more than 4000 families in the rural areas.
“There is no more sitting by the roadside to sell your tomatoes, you just produce and bring them to the plant and you get paid,” he said.
Cde Mnangagwa urged other provinces to come and learn from Bulawayo and see the creativity displayed there, adding that government will accelerate the modernisation agenda to incorporate latest technologies in the agro-processing industries.
Turning to the Hopeville Housing Project, the President commended the housing developers for such initiative which will create employment, building of houses, including downstream benefits for those into cement manufacturing, roofing material, among others.
The President said the project is in line with government’s desire to provide decent housing for all, adding that such projects will see the re-birth of Bulawayo.
“I congratulate Bulawayo for taking the lead….am told a minimum of 16 000 houses will be built, and a complete shopping mall,” he said.
President Mnangagwa urged housing developers to ensure that housing delivery is accompanied by the requisite infrastructure such as schools, clinics, sewer, water and other amenities.
Turning to the cholera epidemic, the President said the outbreak has been declared a state of emergency in Harare, and implored councils must make sure that sanitation issues in their areas are addressed.
He reiterated that the health of every citizen will remain a priority under his administration.
The event was also attended by Vice President Kembo Mohadi, Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Cde July Moyo, Minister of State for Bulawayo Metropolitan province Cde Judith Ncube, the Mayor of Bulawayo Councillor Solomon Mguni and senior government officials.