10 December 2012

Zimbabwe: Harness Rain Water for Irrigation - President

The country is starving due to inept and "foolish" leadership that is failing to come up with methods to harness rain water for irrigation, President Mugabe said at the weekend. The President and First Secretary of Zanu-PF, said this while officially closing the 13th Zanu-PF Annual National People's Conference in Gweru.

The President said there were so many small rivers in between Zambezi and Limpopo Rivers whose water could be harnessed for irrigation purposes and ensure national food security.

"If you travel from Zambezi to Limpopo in between we have so many small rivers. Some feed into the Zambezi River and others into Save and Gwayi Rivers. These little rivers gather water this time. If it rains well they get full but when you get to about May or June already they will have spilled all the water into big rivers that will in turn take water to the sea.

"Irrigation, irrigation, irrigation. I have said it before and it appears I will be insulting the Almighty. If I were the Almighty I would say you foolish, foolish idiots I gave you all this water and you cannot keep it. What sought of people are you," he said.

The President left the delegates in stitches when he said; "I am one of those foolish and idiotic persons because I am one of you also."

The President said it was unfortunate that the country continued to have food deficit yet it had so many water bodies.

The country has the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development that is responsible for ensuring improved irrigation and modernisation of farming methods.

In his address the President said the US$20 million inputs support scheme he launched last month was expected to improve yields among poor farmers.

He distributed 60 tonnes of seed to the party's 10 administrative provinces for distribution to some people in the villages.

The President said he was optimistic that farming inputs distributed would bolster farming preparations this season.

"Put your shoulders to the wheels. Let's work hard. Zimbabweans are known for working hard. (Former South African President Nelson) Mandela's worker is a Zimbabwean from Matabeleland South. He is a hard worker and does not steal. I am told he is always at work on time," he said.

The President told people to castigate factionalism in Zanu-PF, saying the party should go to the polls next as a united force.

He said he did not want to hear that people were divided along the so called Vice-President Joice Mujuru Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa's camps

President Mugabe said Zanu-PF would go for the 2013 elections "like a wounded lion" and urged the leadership to unite people around the party and not personalities.

President Mugabe said the party's structures should be ready for elections, adding that the party should mobilise for a resounding victory.

He reiterated that Zanu-PF should use its policies as its weapon during the forthcoming elections and discouraged party members from engaging in violence during campaigns.

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