The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Zanu-PF Strikes the Right Chord

Zanu-PF last Wednesday announced the theme for this year's 13th Annual National People's Conference, setting the tone for next year's election campaign. The theme "Indigenise, Empower, Develop and Create Employment" sums it all. It was agreed on at the 261st Ordinary Session of the Politburo held at the party's headquarters in Harare last week.

Zanu-PF spokesperson Cde Rugare Gumbo said the party would not renege on empowering the people.

"We discussed the issue of the Annual People's Conference to be held in Gweru and we have agreed that it be held from December 4 to 9.

"We have also agreed on the theme and it would be 'Indigenise, Empower, Develop and Create Employment'.

"We have adopted that theme because it is relevant to the current situation and also to our campaign ahead of next year's election."

Zanu-PF is way ahead of competition.

These are key issues affecting everyone and if well-articulated many Zimbabweans are likely to give the party the thumbs up.

MDC formations and Mavambo Kusile Dawn and other parties are yet to present their election issues to the people.

Other parties push for abstract Western-imposed issues, among them democracy and good governance as basis of their election campaigns, ignoring bread and butter issues.

The theme touches all thorny issues with potential to propel the revolutionary party to victory in harmonised elections slated for next March.

Zanu-PF's conference will be held in Gweru in line with the party's policy of taking the indaba to all the country's 10 provinces.

This indaba is critical to the party and the country as it provides a platform for the revolutionary party to take stock of national targets for the previous year and whether they were achieved or not.

After realising total political independence, Zanu-PF moved a gear up and came up with some economic policies that have had farreaching consequences to the generality of Zimbabweans.

Zanu-PF's policies have touched the lives of many people and as the political clocks ticks towards the harmonised elections next year, some of the policies have already started bearing fruit.

Many people, mainly those in marginalised communities that have been watching some foreign companies plundering their God-given resources, are telling different tales today.

One of the issues annunciated in the conference theme is indigenisation.

The country is on a path towards indigenising the economy and allowing Zimbabweans to determine their economic destiny.

So far, this has been achieved in agriculture. About 400 000 Zimbabweans are now proud owners of arable land compared to only 4 000 whites who used to enjoy the fruits of nearly 70 percent of the country's best land.

Although the country's detractors might take land reform programme as a failure, tables are slowly turning as some beneficiaries are now funding themselves.

Some banks, mainly the international ones, have refused to fund local farmers insisting on collateral security and this has seen many land reform programme beneficiaries failing to secure funding.

This, however, calls for the Government to think outside the box and find ways of helping hardworking farmers yearning for assistance.

During the 2011/12 farming season some tobacco farmers pocketed windfalls after the sale of about 143 million kg of the crop and there is potential that the figures might increase during the 2012/13 season.

Some of them are poor men and women in remote areas who are taking advantage of the liberalisation of the tobacco sector.

President Mugabe has also chipped in with his well-wishers inputs scheme to ensure food security.

Well-resourced firms with local roots should take a cue from the President and roll out massive contract farming schemes targeting farmers with rich soils, but are failing to mobilise funding.

Through the empowerment laws, Government has made sure that all foreign owned firms operating in Zimbabwe should submit proposals on how they intend to achieve the 51 percent indigenisation threshold stipulated by the law.

The policies have seen enterprising Zimbabweans benefiting from these people-centered policies.

It is everyone's hope that the Government will design a scheme to cater for unfortunate Zimbabweans who are not well-resourced but have skills and zeal to have a share of the cake. The Zanu-PF Government has never let poor people down.

For over three decades, villagers have been watching haplessly as monster trucks came, damaged roads maintained by a poor District Development Fund, and hauled millions of tonnes of ore containing rich minerals.

The villagers were never told where the minerals were being taken to and the rural district councils never realised that the royalties they were receiving in Zimbabweans dollars meant nothing compared to minerals contained in the ore.

President Mugabe has made many people see light.

He has so far launched the Mhondoro-Ngezi Zvimba Chegutu (Zimplats), Shurungwi-Zvishavane (Unki), Gwanda (Matabeleland South) and Matabeleland North, Marange Zimunya (diamond firms) community share ownership schemes.

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