21 April 2006

Zimbabwe: Mujuru Assures Nation of Peace, Enough Food

Harare — GOVERNMENT will ensure Zimbabwe remains peaceful and people have enough food, especially the majority in rural areas, Vice President Joice Mujuru said yesterday.

Cde Mujuru said she had a programme of visiting rural areas to assess the situation on the ground and see how Government can assist to improve their standard of living. The Vice President said she would continue her tour next month. "My priority is to make sure there is enough food for families in the countryside and that each and every one of our nationals live in peace. We want people to understand what the Government is doing to better their lives," she said.

Cde Mujuru was speaking to a high-powered delegation from the Chinese People Association for Peace and Disarmament (CPAPD) which is in the country on an official visit. The 14-member delegation led by the CPAPD chairperson Ms He Luli paid a courtesy call on Cde Mujuru at her Munhumutapa Offices in Harare. Cde Mujuru told the delegation that Zimbabwe was currently embarking on programmes aimed at turning around the economy. "These days we are busy with economic development programmes of the country. Our economy is very much based on agriculture," she said. "Eighty percent of our people live in the rural areas and my interest is to make sure that they become productive, boost the economy and help in achieving its turnaround programme."

Cde Mujuru said sometimes it was difficult to ensure peace if people were faced with hunger. She said it was important to ensure that the people produce enough food and sell the surplus to Government. In its effort to ensure people in the rural areas were productive, Cde Mujuru said, the Government would continue to give them farming inputs. The Government would also strive to impart requisite knowledge and skills to enable farmers to be productive to the level expected by the Government. Cde Mujuru also said the country was endowed with a lot of minerals that needed huge investments to be exploited. She, however, said in Zimbabwe women were still lagging behind in terms of development yet their role was critical in the economic turnaround programme. She cal led on women to actively participate in the issues of economic development. CPAPD chairperson Mrs Luli said China and Zimbabwe's good relations continue to strengthen.

This, she said, was evidenced by the growth in the countries' political ties, increasing economic and trade co-operation and exchange in cultural, educational, scientific and other areas. Mrs Luli commended Zimbabwe for supporting China on the international scene. "We will continue to promote economic, cultural and social programmes between the two countries on all fronts to boost our bilateral relationship. Development cannot be achieved without peace and stability and our people should enjoy this benefit," she said.

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