Thupeyo Muleya in Beitbridge and Patrick Chitumba in Midlands
Cross-border traders have thanked President Mugabe for initiating empowerment programmes that have benefited them and for leading Zimbabweans into economic freedom.
Addressing hundreds of cross-border traders at the official launch of the $15 million facility to enhance their trade in Gweru on Wednesday, president of the Cross Border Traders Association Dr Killer Zivhu described President Mugabe as God-given.
He said Zimbabweans should pray for him to ensure that he carried his God-given mandate endlessly.
Dr Zivhu said President Mugabe had the “staff or rod” like the one the Biblical Moses used to perform miracles in freeing the children of Israel.
“Svimbo ina vaMugabe (the rod is with President Mugabe),” he said. “Moses had the rod he used to perform miracles for the children of Israel from striking a rock to giving them water and parting the Red Sea.
“Because of President Mugabe, we have the $15 million facility for cross- border traders, which should be sufficient for us to be able to grow our businesses and economy. Because of President Mugabe, Beitbridge Border Post now opens 24 hours, we were sick and tired of sleeping at the border.
“President Mugabe pointed his rod and flea markets are all over.
“So, he has the rod just like Moses and he is God-given to lead us out of poverty for economic emancipation.”
Speaking at the same occasion, Midlands Provincial Affairs Minister Cde Jason Machaya said Government always strived to empower previously marginalised people.
“It is well known and documented that from the attainment of our hard won independence as the nation of Zimbabwe, Government under the leadership of President Mugabe has embarked on an unambiguous path of empowering the women population,” he said.
The Cross Border Traders Association held another launch of the $15 million facility in Beitbridge yesterday, where Dr Zivhu urged Government to urgently attend to issues affecting trade and the movement of people at the country’s ports of entry.
He said: “We are negotiating with Government and the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority to look into the trade barriers at our borders.
“People are spending long hours to clear goods at the borders and this is discouraging. You will note that every effort we make in capacitating our members will come to nothing if our borders are not made user friendly. It is important that we improve the way of doing business”.