PRESIDENT Mnangagwa arrived here yesterday ahead of the official opening of the 17th Zanu-PF Annual National People's Conference in Esigodini, Matabeleland South Province, today. First to arrive at Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport was Vice President Constantino Chiwenga and his wife Mrs Mary Chiwenga.
They were joined by Ministers of State for Bulawayo and Matabeleland South Provincial Affairs Cdes Judith Ncube and Abednico Ncube respectively, service chiefs, Members of Parliament and other senior party officials to receive President Mnangagwa and First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa who arrived about 30 minutes later.
The President, who will officially open the conference today and the First Lady, were accompanied by Zanu-PF national chairperson Cde Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri.
Cde Muchinguri-Kashiri said the conference was critical for introspection and mapping the way forward for the country's economic recovery.
"We're excited to be in Matabeleland South during this time of the year after an eventful year. It's important that we're meeting to introspect, share ideas, look at our strengths and our weaknesses and come up with resolutions as well as plans for the next four years," said Cde Muchinguri-Kashiri.
"We had our primary elections where people were shaken a bit and this is the time to forget the past and strengthen the party as well as celebrate our victory in the harmonised elections," she said.
Cde Muchinguri-Kashiri said the party continues to have a clear message to the people; to remain united as the country re-engages with the outside world in the drive to improve the country's economy.
"This forum is expected to address a number of issues, which include corruption, economic development, creating jobs for our youths and our women. We're introspecting. Where we've failed, we will correct and chart the way forward," she said.
"It's critical for us to review and re-evaluate the wok that we've done as the ruling party. The people of Zimbabwe are expecting positive results from the party and we're promising not to let them down."
Cde Muchinguri-Kashiri said since the conference was being held during the agricultural season, the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Climate and Rural Resettlement would give reports on where the country stands in regards to the sector.
Meanwhile, delegates yesterday began trooping to the conference venue - Mzingwane High School - from the country's 10 provinces, singing and chanting party slogans.
Several party bigwigs and security teams were also at the venue winding up preparations ahead of the indaba's official opening today.
Exhibitors yesterday said they were anticipating brisk business while President Mnangagwa is expected to tour the exhibition stands today.
Zanu-PF caps, straw hats, key holders, jerseys inscribed ED Pfee, among other party regalia, are available for sale at the conference.