Mashudu Netsianda, Senior Reporter
THE Zanu-PF leadership in Matabeleland South has lauded President Mugabe for spearheading drought mitigation programmes in the province to avert starvation.
The ruling party’s Matabeleland South provincial chairman, Cde Rabelani Choeni, made the remarks in his speech at the 21st February Movement commemorations at Matopos Junior School in Matobo district on Saturday.
Cde Choeni said Matabeleland South is a drought prone province whose people largely rely on cattle ranching for survival.
“Matabeleland South was hit by drought in the 2015/16 agricultural season and the support from His Excellency in mitigating the effects of the drought was overwhelming. Our people were fed and they are still being fed.
“I would like to thank you (President Mugabe) for the deliberate initiative to curb future droughts through Command Agriculture. Our province is proud to be a remarkable success story in the implementation of a prudent drought mitigation programme and through Zim-Asset, Arda/ Antelope in Matobo and Ingwizi in Mangwe have made us proud,” he said.
Cde Choeni urged the Government to construct more irrigation schemes in the province as a long term solution to ensure food security.
“Our province has many water bodies and we therefore implore our party and the Government to continue supporting Matabeleland South by setting up more irrigation schemes in the province,” said Cde Choeni.
He implored the Government to repair roads and bridges which were damaged by floods.
Cyclone Dineo that was downgraded to a tropical storm before it hit the country two weeks ago has caused widespread infrastructural destruction in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces leaving thousands homeless and a majority of roads impassable.
Cde Choeni assured the President that his province was firmly behind him as the sole centre of power and the ruling party’s candidate for the 2018 elections.
“Matabeleland South is a rainbow province which is united with 13 parliamentary seats won in the 2013 harmonised election. Your Excellency, we once again promise you that in 2018 we are going to retain the trophy,” he said.
The 21th February movement is an annual event on the calendar to celebrate President Mugabe’s birthday. The President turned 93 last Tuesday.