Lovemore Kadzura Rusape Correspondent
THE Minister of State for Provincial Affairs, Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba, has rallied key stakeholders and the general populace in Manicaland to put their hands on the dashboard and push the devolution agenda as a united force.
Dr Gwaradzimba said Manicaland was endowed with lucrative natural resources with capacity to grow it socially and economically.
The province boasts timber, mineral resources, good agricultural soils, abundant water bodies, iconic tourism attractions and good infrastructure, which if properly exploited, can spur its development into a modern region.
She said she would be hard on Government departments, local authorities, parastatals and development partners in the province, assessing their impact on the ground.
The minister made the remarks recently while addressing delegates in Headlands during a ceremony to plant 12 000 trees at Dr Chipunza’s farm.
“We want Manicaland to develop. I will not be sitting in my office, but will be moving around the province monitoring developmental projects. I will crack the whip on those not performing to the expected standards. We all have a responsibility to grow the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the province and contribute meaningfully to national development.
“The national target is for us to be a middle income economy by 2030, but our target as Manicaland is 2025 because we have all the economic enablers to uplift our lifestyles. Let us put all our efforts together to develop this province. We must take the lead, devolution calls for inclusivity. Everyone should be on board.
Dr Gwaradzimba said through devolution, Government services should be readily available and easily accessible in the province.
“It is now our responsibility to develop Manicaland. We have our destiny in our own hands. We determine the pace and rate of development in the province.
“Let us identify what we want as Manicaland, from village to the provincial level. I am impressed by the level of productivity in Headlands; the tobacco and maize are encouraging. We have potential to increase and produce more food. We cannot continue importing food as a nation, it is embarrassing and burdensome,’’ said the minister.
She noted that agriculture was the backbone of the province’s economy and those who benefited from the land programme should pull up their socks.
“The province has abundant water bodies to use for irrigation. Let us utilise them. Makoni and Chipinge are very rich and diverse districts; there is no excuse for failure,” said Dr Gwaradzimba.