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Zanu-PF girds loins for major economic uplift

by Staff reporter
23 Dec 2018 at 03:33hrs | Views
An army donning nothing remotely linked to a camouflage – apparels made from a tapestry of red, yellow, black and green colours – invaded the usually sleepy environs of Esigodini, Matabeland South, a fortnight ago.
Their mission couldn't have been any clearer: defining the course that will affect the lives of more than 13 million souls that call Zimbabwe home.

Zanu-PF, which attained an overwhelming mandate after getting more than two-thirds in the House of Assembly in the July 30 harmonised elections, now shapes Government policy.

The party is now supreme to Government.

Having run a campaign focussing on putting the economy – and with it the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans who remain squeezed by a stressed economy – back on the rail, the party's focus at the 17 Annual National People's Conference held a fortnight ago was on keeping the eye on the ball.

As National Party Chair Mrs Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, who was in charge of proceedings, said, there is need to fulfil promises that were made to the electorate.

"These events have led us to converge here in Esigodini as we gather in unity to introspect, reflect, deliberate, plan and resolve on how best to successfully fulfil our promises made to Zimbabweans during the elections," she said in her opening remarks.

New trajectory

Billed as a potentially epoch-shaping indaba; one that would see the revolutionary party reconnect with its traditional values and redirect discourse towards economic development ahead of intra-party fights, the conference did not disappoint.

Gone was yesteryear's rhetoric of splendid isolation and in its place a sound message of diplomacy, re-engagement and development.

The narrative of unity, for long cast to the back burner, resurfaced with aplomb owing to President Emmerson Mnangagwa's patient cajoling and redirection of the party towards cohesion over the last year.

However, amid the celebrations and festivities, focus was on mapping the way forward, with particular focus on the national economy.

And major decisions were indeed made.

Unsurprisingly, key proposals in agriculture, the lifeblood of the economy, were put on the table.

Noting the economy's reliance on agriculture and the need to leverage the sector for accelerated economic development, the party directed Government to immediately facilitate the construction of dams, de-silt existing ones and hasten water harvesting.

It was also resolved that the selection for Command Livestock be revised in order to make it inclusive and biased towards deserving farmers.

The revolutionary party also emphasised the need to fast-track ease of doing business reforms in line with the aspirational goal to promote both domestic and international investment.

Further, the push for a simple and business friendly tax system was made.

The obtaining three-tier pricing regime, which has brought considerable discomfort to the transacting public, did not escape the attention of delegations.

Government, it was also agreed, has to renew its focus on infrastructure development in order to provide the major building blocks for development.

The laundry list of proposals was as exhaustive as it was relevant.

President Mnangagwa succinctly noted that the deliberations and subsequent prescriptions would naturally give Government the guidance and oomph to pursue its agenda.

"The resolutions of this conference will help us as Government to be more focused, guided by the will of the people.

"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 – and we promise to do our best," he said.

Recognising the need for political stability as the plinth on which economic development will be built on, the party unanimously agreed to endorse President Mnangagwa as the party's candidate for the 2023 elections.

An urgent and elaborate restructure of the party was also recommended and adopted.


But the weighty agenda of the Conference didn't stop party fashionistas and merrymakers from doing what they know best.

The razzamatazz, the glitz and the glamour was all too apparent for all to see, from the colourful party apparel, high-end entertainment, cultural diversity and an unrelenting show of political force.

Even on the opening day, delegates started streaming in at dawn as youths arrived in song and the elderly doddering in slowly in rhythmic unison.

The unrelentingly scorching sun of Matabeleland South failed to deter the scores of delegates queuing at security check points for screening.

With nearly all delegates dressed in colourful party regalia, the multi-purpose marque set up at the centre of Umzingwane High School, the venue for the indaba, seemed to have been drowning in a sea of red, green and yellow.

As to be expected, conversations revolved around the new direction of the party.

Inside the marque, the continued carnival atmosphere threatened to overwhelm the giant structure.

Stewards and security detail had a tough time controlling the frenzied delegates as they danced, wriggled and whined to anything that sounded like music.

Delegates from individual provinces battled to outdo each other on the dance floor; so did the boisterous Youth League and the remarkably energetic Women's League delegates.

But proceedings were smooth and seamless, which clearly indicated the detail and fastidious effort of the organising committee.

Gone was the disorderliness of past conferences, a sign of lessons having been learnt from the past.

On offer was high speed Wi-Fi, an excellent PA system and reasonably comfortable air conditioning.

Amid animated conversation, sloganeering and comradely banter, the delegates were in celebration mode.

The event was, after all, a celebration following the party's success in the July 30 Harmonised Elections.

After witnessing such breathtaking efficiency and organisation, it might be hard to disagree with President Mnangagwa's contention that the country "is in safe hands".

Source - zimpapers