Rumbidzayi Zinyuke Senior Reporter
MANICALAND is making concerted efforts to increase the number of products currently being exported, as the province gears up for development in line with the constitutional provision for devolution of power to provincial level.
In an interview, provincial administrator Mr Edgar Seenza said the Manicaland provincial development committee was developing a work plan that would outline ways to grow exports and enhance development.
“As a province we have several products that are already being exported and we would like to see those exports grow so that the province can achieve economic development.
“We have tea from the Eastern Highlands, for instance. We want to ensure that tea exports grow significantly in future. This is why we are working on establishing a functional border post at Katiyo so that tea from the estates is transported to the port of Beira using that route,” he said. He said the province was also exporting macadamia nuts, which were being produced in Chipinge and surrounding areas.
“In the past, we have not been benefiting much from our minerals but going forward, we want to ensure that our minerals are exported and we receive full benefits from that. In that regard, we want to ensure that our small-scale miners benefit from loan facilities from the RBZ to buy equipment,” added Mr Seenza.
Other export products from Manicaland include timber, horticulture produce as well as coffee.
Mr Seenza said the provincial development committee would meet this month to come up with ways to enhance development in line with the concept of devolution.
Devolution of power is in line with Section (2) of the country’s Constitution under which central Government should cede more powers to provincial councils so they can determine their development priorities.
In July, President Mnangagwa told people gathered at a Zanu-PF star rally in Mutare that all provinces should be ready to embark on developmental projects as part of Government efforts to devolve power to provincial levels.
“On devolution we are saying we want each province to identify its strengths and see what it can leverage on them for development. We are decentralising powers from Harare so that provinces themselves can assess their progress, and say what they can do about their agriculture, what they shall do about their mining and tourism,” he said.