No time to sit on our laurels

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AS we come to the end of the year, it might be appropriate to look at some of the notable achievements the Second Republic can boast having achieved. However, these achievements should be seen as a challenge to excel in succeeding years. One of the sweetest pieces of news this year, is the recent announcement of the wiping out of the passport backlog. Mind you as recent as January this year, the passport backlog of 200 000 seemed insurmountable. This time it is not only the wiping out of the backlog, but also the speedy release of the document for new applicants. But the Second Republic had already assured people that this would happen during the 2018 general elections campaign. The introduction of the electronic passport, in December last year has seen the ZANU PF Government fulfil a people’s dream. The proliferation of e-passport centres like Bulawayo, Gweru, Hwange, Lupane, Beitbridge, Chitungwiza, Murehwa and Chinhoyi contributed to the clearance of this backlog. 

This is not all. Additional e-passport centres will soon be established in Marondera and Zvishavane. Here we are seeing the Second Republic living true to its mantra of bringing services to the people in every corner of the country. A notable change for those coming from South Africa for the festive holidays, is the smooth flow of traffic across the Beitbridge Border Post. Gone and forever are the congestion and delays associated with the crossing of the border post. A major event by the Second Republic this year was the commissioning of the new Beitbridge Border Post by the President Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa at the end of August.

Movement at the new-look border post is a marvel to watch.Through automation of services and separation of traffic, congestion has been reduced and generally the environment created is conducive to good business. The several hours, which used to be spent in queues before clearance have been reduced to a few minutes. A border post is also important because it is the face of the country.

Thus the point of entry creates the first impression a visitor will have the country. We are therefore thrilled with the promise that the modernising trend of other border that include Chirundu, Forbes, Plumtree, Nyamapanda, Kazungula and Victoria Falls, is soon to follow. We also note with satisfaction that the modernisation fever has spilled to major highways with Beitbridge-Harare Road leading the way.

Harare-Chirundu and Beitbridge-Bulawayo-Victoria Falls roads are all challenges in-waiting.Another piece of good news for Zimbabweans is the expected good harvest this year. At long last Zimbabwe will reach self-sufficiency as the country is expected to harvest more than 380 000 tonnes of wheat this season. The country’s national requirement to meet domestic demand is 360 000 tonnes. So the country is even expected to have a carry-over stock. Early rains have had an adverse effect on the harvest, but this has had minimum negative effect on the  quantity. With more combine harvesters and more preventative measures taken against pests and early rains the future of wheat harvest looks very bright. Surely why can’t we see the prices of flower products, including bread, tumbling with the expected future boon. The production of excess wheat should see us, less dependent on imports. All along Zimbabwe has been relying on imports of wheat to offset low production. But the conflict in Ukraine has threatened global shortages of the grain. 

We know that other challenges lying in wait include the completion of the Gwayi-Shangani project next year. We would be happy to join Bulawayo residence on the day they will receive their first supplies of treated pipe water from this great dam. Not to be left behind is the supply of adequate drugs to our hospitals. That is why our expectations were raised when the Government recently invested in a warehouse for stocking drugs through a Chinese grant. For the Government to achieve all these milestones, the key ingredient is unity among all those involved. Our liberation effort was strengthened when ZANU and ZAPU joined hands to form the Patriotic Front to fight colonialists both on the battlefield and negotiating table. That is why December 22 will always remain a key date in the growth of Zimbabwe as a sovereign nation state. That is when the two political parties which defeated colonialism on the battlefront join hands to form ZANU PF and enhance the spirit of unity.

We wish all our readers to enjoy this great day as they celebrate the occasion next week.

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