A look at ZANU PF’s jobs promise

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I HOPE you all had wonderful Easter holidays and a very happy independence anniversary.
It is now back to our various jobs whether in town or rural areas.
Now talking about jobs, for quite some time the foreign-owned press operating in this country and opposition parties have been giving ZANU PF and its Government a lot of stick on the issue of jobs.
They have been chiding ZANU PF for promising the nation at least two million jobs between 2013 and 2018 but this they allege has turned out to be a pie in the sky.
Come 2018 when the general elections come around, the people of Zimbabwe will punish ZANU PF at the polls for having failed to deliver what they promised during their elections campaign.
You are wrong opposition folks!
On the contrary, ZANU PF, as we are going to show in this article are going to surpass their target of creating two million jobs if the economy keeps on growing upwards as the present trend shows.
Now let us see how ZANU PF is going to create at least two million jobs.
But before we proceed any further, it is important to clarify the issue of jobs.
The impression being given by the opposition parties and opposition press concerning what a job is, is totally confusing.
They are saying a job only becomes a job when one works for an industrial company such as ZIMASCO, ZISCO, Delta Co-operation, Blue Ribbon Foods and PPC cement, among other companies.
Furthermore, that one can only be considered employed and having a job if one is working for OK Bazaars, an insurance company, a clothing store, bakery, restaurant, hotel or Government.
This is wrong and totally misleading.
The definition of a job is very simple.
It is any occupation where one works to earn a living.
To consider someone who is working in the agricultural industry as not having a job, especially in a country such as ours whose economy is based on agriculture, is not only being mischievous but it is in fact being fraudulent.
But ZANU PF and their Government are not frauds but realists and so when they said they were going to create two million jobs, they were talking about creating these jobs in the agriculture sector mainly and other sectors as well.
How?
This now brings into sharp focus the now famous Command Agriculture initiative as well as the cotton support scheme.
Let us look at how the Command Agriculture scheme is going to create many jobs.
We would like to remind our readers about the Command Agriculture scheme itself.
It was created to raise crop production, especially maize, to very high levels so that grain imports would cease and maize exports would instead become the order of the day.
The initial target was two million tonnes of maize this 2016/2017 agricultural season on about 400 000 hectares of land, half of this under irrigation.
The participating farmers were supported by way of free seed, fertiliser, tillage, diesel and irrigation equipment, among other inputs.
At the end of the cycle, the farmers are expected to pay back by way of grain.
And from the look of it, everything is going to work out as planned.
What did the prophets of doom – the opposition press and parties who are again talking down ZANU PF’s two million job-creation initiative, say when the Command Agriculture scheme was launched last year. “This kind of Stone Age thinking (Command Agriculture) was tried almost 100 years ago by the Russian Bolsheviks and succeeded in creating a hunger epidemic,” said one daily.
Some cynics have…suggested this is nothing but an attempt to loot treasury of 500 million dollars (which was invested in the project).”
Now fast-forward to this year 2017 and read what the same ‘papers’ are now saying about Command Agriculture scheme which has now exceeded expectations.
“The country may harvest three million tons of maize this year (2017) significantly exceeding its target.
That would be the largest harvest in at least 50 years topping a 1980 record crop of 2,7 million tonnes according to US Department of Agriculture and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization data.”
They now have their tails between their legs.
Now here is Command Agriculture, a scheme which was well-planned and thought out by ZANU PF to create jobs for its people. They invested US$500 million or more into the Command Agriculture project and will reap over three million tonnes of maize. Now focusing our attention purely on this scheme, how many jobs are going to be created by the three million tonnes of maize?
Lets do the math here.
How many jobs does a tonne of maize create?
Let us be conservative and say a tonne of maize will only create one job.
If that becomes the case, how many jobs will three million tonnes of maize create then?
Our multiplication of three million by one job gives us three million jobs.
But we know that one tonne of maize cannot create only one job bearing in mind it can be converted into many items.
And so we may end up having a tonne of maize creating two or three jobs and if we multiply this by three million tonnes of maize to be harvested this year, the number of jobs that ZANU PF promised to create is exceeded twice over.
And we are only talking of one single crop maize going to create over the two million jobs ZANU PF promised.
What about other crops?
Cotton has been completely dead in the past five years or so, but this year, ZANU PF decided to create a lot of jobs in that agricultural sector.
Gokwe South is expected to harvest a lot of cotton this season.
Government disbursed cotton inputs under the Presidential cotton free inputs through COTCO and 6 000 tonnes of cotton seed and adequate basal fertiliser were distributed which was enough to cover
300 000 hectares up from 74 446 hectares.
The above figures tell a story of very many jobs in the cotton industry. Adding to those in the maize arena already cited and you have millions of jobs created.
And we are not yet finished in the agriculture area.
The coming of Command Agriculture with emphasis on irrigation means agricultural activities are now going to be carried out throughout the year.
Wheat production, which was dead in the water, is being revamped big time this winter onwards.
From almost zero, over 70 000 hectares will be under wheat this winter.
This will create numerous jobs, not just on the field but all the way to bakeries and supermarkets.
ZANU PF and its Government did not say the millions of jobs it was going to create were only going to come from agriculture.
This year, work on the US$2 billion-dollar Beitbridge-Chirundu Highway is starting.
It is estimated that over 300 000 jobs will be created initially.
Therefore, a lot of jobs are going to be created in the roads sector. Government has also started a Command Mining scheme where small-scale miners are going to be assisted by Government in acquiring mining equipment which has been their main problem all along.
The acquisition of modern mining equipment by small-scale miners will create thousands of jobs.
We could go on and on highlighting a lot of areas where Government and ZANU PF are creating numerous jobs.
It is important to note that despite our cash problems these days, the country’s economy is projected to grow by a whopping 3,7 percent. Our neighbour South Africa is projected to grow by only one percent. The UK will grow up to two percent.
The huge growth rise will mean a lot of jobs are going to be created – a growing economy means a growing number of jobs.

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