20 July 2013

Zimbabwe: President Pledges to Resuscitate Ailing Industries

PRESIDENT Mugabe says Zanu-PF will quickly reverse the stagnation experienced during the tenure of the Inclusive Government by prioritising the resuscitation of ailing industries, especially in Bulawayo, after winning the July 31 harmonised elections.

Addressing tens of thousands of people at a star rally at Somhlolo Stadium in Lupane, the President said Zimbabweans had been robbed of proper leadership in the last five years because of a dysfunctional Government as the MDCs were constantly throwing spanners into State programmes.

"We have moved together with the MDCs and people are now able to judge their performance and personality. You now know ukuthi ngabantu abanjani. Things have been going down and down, especially in Bulawayo.

"People have suffered enough and we want to give them a Government that will correct the wrongs done in the last five years."

He said although Zimbabwe got US$500 million under the IMF's Special Drawing Rights (SDR) towards boosting the economy, the funds had not been accounted for by Finance Minister Tendai Biti.

"We had said part of the money must be used to resuscitate companies in Bulawayo, but Biti said he would give only US$20 million, which was not enough. The rest of the $500 million, we do not know where it went to.

"Promises given to civil servants have not been fulfilled and this is not the Government worth living for. So this is what has been happening.

"Even our farmers have not been getting Government assistance with inputs and farm implements, businesspeople also cannot get money. The same in our hospitals and schools, which are struggling."

The President said Zanu-PF had since crafted plans for raising capital towards revitalising the economy and improving service delivery as espoused in its election manifesto.

"So we are saying our young people who have graduated from tertiary institutions and are equipped with skills must be provided with finance and equipment to run our companies and start new businesses altogether. We will help them to do so," said President Mugabe.

He said Zanu-PF would provide more money by securitising some of the country's natural resources and supporting key economic sectors.

"This is a process involving us offering guarantees of minerals worth a certain value in exchange for loans. This is how some countries have developed their own economies.

"That way we can develop very fast at the same time developing our financial institutions to provide loans at low interest rates.

"That is where we want to go and we can do it without these money seeking people from the MDC. We do not want to even hear about them after 31 July," the President said to thunderous applause.

He commended Zimbabweans for their resilience during the sanctions -induced economic challenges.

Zanu-PF, the President said, would take urgent steps, as soon as it was voted into power, to speed up the completion of outstanding projects in Matabeleland among them the Lupane State University, Gwanda State University and the National University of Science and Technology.

He said the Unity Accord could not be wished away by anyone and urged the electorate to shun parties that campaign on tribal lines.

"So, vote for us on 31 July and do not listen to those who talk tribal, who say we of Matabeleland together- Welshman and Dabengwa, let us form a coalition. That is a dead talk," said the President, adding that as long as he lived he would not go against the wishes of those he worked with.

"Nkomo (Dr Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo) on his deathbed said there are two things I should take care of, unity of the people of Zimbabwe and the land. So let us bind ourselves that 31 July, we will go together and vote for a Zanu-PF President and good candidates and not the MDC drunkards and ignoramuses who think people's money are for them.

That must come to an end," he said.

The President scoffed at the MDCs' attempt to delay elections, saying it was characteristic of people who feared defeat and knew their self-serving interests were coming to an end.

He said he was happy that Zimbabweans were now aware that the MDCs they were deceived into voting for in 2008 had nothing to offer except being fronts for Western interests.

Zanu-PF National Chairman Cde Simon Khaya Moyo urged the electorate to vote for Zanu-PF while Matabeleland North chairman Cde Richard Moyo said the province was geared to win back all the seats Zanu-PF lost in the last election.

"Matabeleland North is a different province now, we cannot wait for 31 July to show the MDCs the exit point," said Cde Moyo.

In 2008, Zanu-PF won only three out of 13 House of Assembly seats in Matabeleland North, namely Bubi, Umguza and Nkayi North.

A fourth seat, Tsholotsho North was added when Professor Jonathan Moyo who won it as an independent candidate later re-joined the party.

The revolutionary party won only one Senate seat in the province, Bubi-Umguza.

The President who was accompanied by First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe, his spokesperson Mr George Charamba, Cdes Saviour Kasukuwere and Patrick Zhuwawo was welcomed by Cde Khaya Moyo and Politburo members Cdes Cain Mathema, Dr Obert Mpofu, Thokozile Mathuthu, Sithembiso Nyoni, Samuel Mugande and Professor Jonathan Moyo.

Among the people who attended the event, were the party's candidates for the harmonised elections and traditional leaders among them chiefs Gumede, Mabhikwa, Pashu, Sikhobokhobo, Sivalo and Nekatambe.

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