President Mnangagwa will today meet traditional chiefs from the Matabeleland region and the Midlands Province at State House here today as he continues to interface with various actors in society to get their views on different issues. Ever since he assumed office in November 2017, the Head of State has been on a broad-based engagement drive with local civic society, churches, political parties, private media and captains of industry.
The meetings are part of the fulfilment of his election campaign message that he would be a “listening President”.
The Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services posted a statement on Twitter yesterday announcing the President’s meeting with the chiefs scheduled for today.
“His Excellency President @edmnangagwa will meet Chiefs from Matabeleland and Midlands provinces on Friday 28 June 2019, at State House, Bulawayo,” reads the statement.
Today’s meeting comes hot on the heels of a similar engagement which the President had in March with the Matabeleland Collective, a grouping of non-governmental organisations, faith-based organisations, community-based organisations, trusts, savings clubs and social movements from Bulawayo, Matabeleland North and Matabeleland South.
During the meeting, President Mnangagwa held frank and robust discussions with the groups, stressing the need for national cohesion and collective efforts in taking the country forward.
The President later said the meeting was an eye-opener regarding issues of neglect that the people in the south and south-western region felt so strongly about.
The meeting was instructive as it resulted in the creation of a matrix of implementation of issues raised by the people of Matabeleland.
Since coming to power in November 2017, President Mnangagwa has been championing devolution and national healing, among other issues, to ensure national development.
He has buttressed this approach by meeting with various groups to frankly discuss their problems and what they think are the solutions.
In January last year, President Mnangagwa met traditional chiefs from all parts of the country in Gweru where he briefed them on his administration’s vision and expectations.
The chiefs aired the challenges they face to the President. In July last year, President Mnangagwa met with the Zimbabwe Liberation War Collaborators (Ziliwaco), which has a membership of over 134 000.
The war collaborators’ representatives drawn from the country’s 10 provinces presented a list of their grievances to him.
The President said his administration held Ziliwaco in high regard given the “intelligence” role its members played during the liberation struggle.
In May last year, President Mnangagwa met with thousands of war veterans drawn from the country’s 10 provinces in a maiden meeting.
The meeting was meant to afford the war veterans an opportunity to brief the Head of State and Government on the challenges they were facing economically, socially and politically.
President Mnangagwa also met students from various tertiary institutions and their lecturers in July last year, where they raised several issues, including lack of accommodation in colleges.
The President also met women from all walks of life and engaged them on issues affecting their lives in May last year.
President Mnangagwa also met with vendors in July last year where they discussed issues to do with their work and the problems facing the informal sector.
The President has also met doctors to hear their grievances and find a solution to create a conducive working environment in hospitals.
In March this year, President Mnangagwa held a meeting with youths at an inaugural youth indaba organised by the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation in Harare.
The meeting was more of an informal discussion where President Mnangagwa took time to field questions from the youths starting from Minister Kirsty Coventry (Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation) who wanted to know President Mnangagwa’s childhood ambition.
This month, the President met locally-based foreign media correspondents as part of the new dispensation’s re-engagement drive in ending years of isolation from the global community.
The President has been pursuing local, regional and international engagement which is a departure from the old dispensation which was averse to local engagement with business and civic society.
President Mnangagwa has since met other stakeholders like the business community, teachers unions and college lecturers.
Source : The Herald