By Nduduzo Tshuma
President Mnangagwa today visits Matabeleland North Province where he is scheduled to distribute cattle under the Command Livestock Programme in Jotsholo before addressing a Zanu-PF rally at Somhlolo Stadium in Lupane.
Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs Minister Cde Cain Mathema said the province was ready to receive President Mnangagwa.
“The President will distribute cattle in Jotsholo under a Government programme before proceeding to Somhlolo Stadium in Lupane where he will address a party gathering. We are ready to receive him as Government departments for the first programme and also on the party side we are ready to host the President,” said Cde Mathema.
“We are very happy that the President is coming to Matabeleland North. He has done a lot for our province within a few months of the new administration. He has commissioned a number of projects worth billions of dollars that will create thousands of jobs for the people.”
Two weeks ago, the President commissioned the $1,5 billion Hwange Thermal Power Station expansion project that is expected to create 7 000 jobs directly and indirectly at its peak.
Addressing Zanu-PF supporters at Dulivhadzimu Stadium later in the day, President Mnangagwa said the Government has embarked on a number of economic initiatives expected to create employment and address the liquidity crisis bedevilling the country.
“In the past six months our export drive has grown by 23 percent and continues to grow rising from our surplus in agriculture, mining, tourism and increased support from our friends especially the Chinese who have eased conditions on us accessing credit from them. When we met President Xi Xinping he was pleased with our policies and directed that the credit conditions be relaxed.
“We were given $1,5 billion for Hwange Thermal Power Station, $680 million for Kunzvi Dam, $253 million for Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport, another loan for water and sanitation in Harare and $100 million for a new Government complex also in Harare.
“We also have $5,4 billion for the Batoka Power Project and this week we will have another ground breaking ceremony for the $4,2 billion platinum project in Mashonaland West,” said President Mnanga- gwa.
Last month, President Mnangagwa launched a Command Livestock programme at Gwanda Showgrounds to mainly cater for Matabeleland region after noting that there was a need to exploit the region’s climatic conditions that are ideal for livestock farming.
The President said Government had noted that due to the varied ecological regions in the country, the Matabeleland region did not perform well in the initial Command Agriculture programme which focused on maize, hence the move to design a deliberate programme meant to benefit the region.
He handed over 1 660 heifers to 151 beneficiaries from Matabeleland South’s seven districts and revealed that Government had channelled $10 million towards the programme which was going to be shared by Matabeleland North and South.