By Golden Guvamatanga,
Recently in Esigodini
THE sun blazed, its ferocity hitting hard on the red, highly nutritious soils of Esigodini, Matabeleland South Province.
A serene view favours the eye as one drives deep into this peaceful area. But ominous clouds are slowly thickening, promising heavy rains.
The previous week, the rains had steadily pounded the rich surface of Esigodini.
The ZANU PF 17th Annual National People’s Conference at Umzingwane High School was not an ordinary coming together.
It was a meeting where the national agenda was at the centre stage, a meeting where the future of the country was being shaped.
Everywhere one looked, it was all smiles and cheers — a people bound by one common goal.
Indeed the goal of advancing the national cause was what brought the 6 000 Party cadres together.
They came, they deliberated and laid a solid foundation for the country’s future.
Changes were visible.
A new ZANU PF that is regenerating presented itself to the party’s faithfuls in Esigodini.
And it made its mark.
The party needed that after a turbulent four years prior to the November 2017 events.
Then, before November 2017, everything had just gone berserk, the wheels had come off and the future was full of doom and gloom.
Holding keys to the return to normalcy was the duo of President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa and his deputy General (Rtd) Constantino Dominic Nyikadzino Chiwenga.
Presiding over their first ever gathering as new ZANU PF leaders, the two decorated heroes of the struggle for independence and economic empowerment did not disappoint.
They were on top of their game as the conference gave prominence to the economy aptly themed ‘Zimbabwe is open for business: Peace, unity towards an upper middle-income economy by 2030’.
Indeed, economic revival and development has been the anchor of President Mnangagwa’s leadership since assuming office in November last year.
“Here is the message from Esigodini. Those who have ears listen, those with eyes see: ZANU PF is boldly on the move,” said President Mnangagwa in his closing remarks.
“We have an appointment with our destiny and we will not miss our destiny. ZANU PF will not be distracted or destroyed, it will prosper.
“Prosperity for our beloved country and a better quality of life for our people is inevitable and it is us who must achieve it.
“Musangano wedu, ZANU PF, wava kufamba senzou. Ucharamba uchiongofamba, uchingofamba, unchingofamba.
“Hapana unoumisa; tinoziva kwatinoda kuinda; tichafamba, tigongofamba tichingofamba vanovukura vachingovukura.”
In his address during the opening of the conference, President Mnangagwa acknowledged that the prevailing economic challenges confronting the country were causing discomfort to the masses.
He pledged to put an end to them and rebuild the economy.
“This conference is being held against the backdrop of an economy which is characterised by fuel shortages, high cost of drugs, medicines, farming inputs and fertilisers as well as a wide range of basic commodities,” he said.
“We condemn the opportunistic and gluttonous triple pricing regime practices by some business persons, which have resulted in untold suffering to the majority of our people.
“Government, along with industry, continues to dialogue and interrogate the cost build-ups towards finding lasting solutions which will bring permanent relief to consumers and greater stability to the economy. We also need to address the question of our own domestic currency, once the correct economic fundamentals are in place.
“Our country has immense growth potential embedded in every sector of our economy.
“Through a protracted liberation struggle, we attained our political independence and subsequently our land.
“It is critical that we use that land to develop our agriculture and maintain the food self-sufficiency we currently enjoy.
“The ongoing audit by the Land Commission should result in more land being availed for further redistribution.
“There is greater need to mechanise and modernise our agriculture, introduce new adaptive seed varieties and new farming methods. We are determined to accelerate the modernisation and expansion of our irrigation infrastructure across all provinces.
“In addition, we have put in place concrete plans to improve our water harvesting capacity to mitigate the impact of drought and climate change.”
Probably the best way to sum up this conference is that it was a reaffirmation of the party’s manifesto.
It was a gathering where the masses were being encouraged to, not only play a part in the attainment of Vision 2030 but, to consolidate the many gains that have been made thus far.
It was reaffirmed in Esigodini that with unity, Zimbabweans can achieve a lot in growing the economy.