By Justin Mahlahla
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has pledged his party’s commitment to bringing development to Binga, which for years had been lagging behind in socio-economic programmes.
Thousands of Binga residents thronged Siabuwa High School, the venue of the Matabeleland North star rally this Saturday, also attended by ZANU PF Vice Presidents and Secretaries, Cdes Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi.
In his address, President Mnangagwa outlined his party’s vision for the Binga electorate, promising a better life for the people under ZANU PF.
“Since independence in 1980, we did not visit this area under President Mugabe. We also want to say in honesty that in the past Binga did not vote for ZANU PF. It was not your fault; it was ZANU PF’s.
“Binga has been lagging behind in terms of development. If you want roads to be fixed, good schools for your children, you don’t go to the opposition because you will never find solutions there,” he said.
He added: “I will also avail four buses. I am told there are no science laboratories, no computers… so I brought computers for Siabuwa High School. The country is built by its citizens. We are building our children. The Gwayi-Shangani Dam, is now at 60% completion. Upon completion, it will serve Lupane to the West and Binga in the East. Some of the water will irrigate the chiefs’ fields.”
President Mnangagwa said an electrification programme is underway to provide power to critical institutions in Binga.
“We are developing 10 megawatts of electricity. We have instructed the team working on solar projects to install electricity at schools so that the science laboratories are functional,” said the President.
“Yesterday we visited the Zambezi, where a pipe is drawing water over a 42 kilometre stretch. We have marked three major points where it shall provide water for irrigation here in Binga, on its way to Hwange.
“We also have Lupane Hospital – I appointed the soldier (Vice President Chiwenga) as Minister of Health so that he would build hospitals. That is what he is doing now.”
He urged the youths to join the ZANU PF Youth League in order to benefit from a youth cattle as well as fisheries programme.
“We have a programme where we give cattle to the youths. We encourage the youths to join the Youth League so that they benefit from the cattle programme. We also have the Presidential Fisheries Programme under which you receive large boxes to breed fish.
“You have pledged that we will win. After 26 March, the first week of April, I will return and go to the Zambezi. Your chiefs and members of the Womens League here have received fishing boats. 31 fishing boats are complete,” he noted.
The President also handed over 34 laptops to Siabuwa High School.
“Chief asked to be included in the Binga Local Board, I have instructed the responsible Minister to accede to their request. I gave instructions for chiefs’ homesteads and schools to be connected to electricity,” explained President Mnangagwa.
He said the country should not beg for food, but produce enough in every province, hence the introduction of climate change-proof Pfumvudza/ Intwasa programme.
“In the past we would go to foreign companies to fix our roads, but we say No More. We are now fixing our roads with companies that are run by our own children,” President Mnangagwa said.
He also warned non-governmental organisations that operate in the country but deviate from their core mandate.
“We have some NGO in the country. Every NGO has a mandate. If it meddles into politics, we invite them to face us as politicians. We will tell them to leave the country anyway.”
“Under the Second Republic, we introduced the devolution policy so that part of our fiscus goes to the provinces,” he said.
Turning to unity within the party, President Mnangagwa said: “We want all ZANU PF leaders to unite. If not, I will personally come and bring you together. ZANU PF cannot fit into one man’s pocket, but we also fit into the ZANU PF pocket.”
He also remined the gathering that no foreigner will be allowed to influence the politics of the country.
“You hear the opposition boys saying if they win elections the whites will fill this country within five days. We say no, a country is ruled by its people. We fought the war, leaving the comfort of the land so that the natives would rule the land.”