Greetings people of Manicaland. I am Monica Mutsvangwa your Minister of State for this Province. It is my faith, hope and pleasure to be addressing you on this eve of the occasion of the 38th Independence celebrations.
This year is a special celebration, coming after the events of November 18, 2017 where the people of Zimbabwe came together regardless of race, colour, creed, political party to march and make sure that they remove a President who had been there for more than 37 years. The new dispensation, which culminated after November 18 shows that the people of Zimbabwe are very mature when it comes to democracy. That march was done peacefully, no one was hurt, no car was damaged, no shop window was smashed. People just marched democratically, very peacefully and the transition of power after 37 years was done in such a peaceful manner. As people of Zimbabwe we do need to celebrate.
The restoration of the legacy of the revolution is very critical. What we are celebrating today is the end of a very tough war where we lost a lot of our Zimbabwean people, both those who had gone outside and those who remained inside the country. We now have a renewed hope, both politically and economically as envisioned by our President Cde E.D Mnangagwa.
Many of you people will realise that since my appointment as your Minister of State I haven’t rested, going out looking for potential investors making sure that we make Manicaland open for business and that certainly leading to opening of our industries.
I am happy to inform you that the first of its kind, The Manicaland Is Open For Business Conference was successfully held and already we have started witnessing very positive results coming from that conference. We have investors interested in our province and we are making sure that we continue to serve them and make sure that they come to this province. A province which we are praying for and as we are always saying to you, we need peace, we need unity for us to develop.
As I have always said as your minister, even as we go towards elections, it is critical to hold our elections in a manner that is transparent, free and fair for all our observers. As you are aware, our President has invited anyone willing to observe the elections in Zimbabwe which shows his commitment to making sure that the elections are done freely and fairly.
Let us all extend our energies towards rebuilding our beautiful province. Manicaland is at the epicentre of economic activities. You are aware that Zimbabwe is a land locked country and it is Manicaland which shares a border with Mozambique making Mutare our provincial capital city. It is one of Zimbabwe’s cities which is very close to the sea via Beira, and as such Manicaland is the gateway to the sea.
You know the importance of a sea, what we want to do is to produce. All that we produce, we want to export and we can only do that through the Beira port which is just about 300km from Mutare. Compared to other ports we may use as a country, such as Durban which is nearly 2 000km away, we realise that Mutare is Manicaland’s gateway to the sea. It is critical to mention Beira port as we talk of investments and investors coming in to our country, to produce and add value and beneficiation to our natural resources all of which will eventually have to be quickly transported to the sea.
Manicaland is where we belong, our roots and heritage lie here. We practically have investment opportunities in areas like agriculture, mining, tourism and infrastructure development. So our future is very certain as people of Manicaland.
My message is, we need to remain united, we need to find each other and be able to be tolerant of each other’s differences and move forward for the benefit of us all. Truly speaking we need to be celebrating and through social media let us celebrate with friends all over the world, let us send a very happy independence day message to our families, friends, colleagues, bosses, clients or employees telling them that we have all the reasons to celebrate in this new environment after 37 years.
A lot has happened, but what happened on November 18 will forever remain etched in our minds. I might find it daunting to choose the right words to use at times but as people, let us identify good words to express how we can build on the dreams of our founding fathers. We all ought to feel proud of being part of a prosperous nation led by a visionary leader Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa. Nothing is as good as being an independent, sovereign and self sustaining nation. Zimbabwe is a great nation which we should be proud of and Manicaland is a great province which we should be very proud of. As your Minister of State, I therefore urge everyone in Manicaland to demonstrate love, let there be peace, let there be unity so that we take development forward as a united province.
That time of polarisation should be something of the past, we need to move forward because when our country develops we have got good infrastructure, we have got good schools for our children, we have got good hospitals for our people. There is no particular development for a particular political party but whatever is done to develop Manicaland will benefit us all that is why it is critical to be tolerant as we go towards elections.
What our President has demonstrated since he took his oath of office up to this day tells us a lot about the new Zimbabwe which was given birth to on November 18, 2017. Our President has demonstrated his vision, he has talked about his mission and as the people of Zimbabwe we can only help our President to realise that vision. We are all ambassadors of this new dispensation so let’s carry the message. The President talks of no retribution, the President talks about walking together, He talks about no one being left behind, meaning we have to carry everyone on board, there is no one who is more special than the other.
This is why it is critical to make Zimbabwe open for business. When the President talks of Zimbabwe being open for business it is creating an environment where foreign direct investors can come with their money, start producing, start value addition of our natural resources. We are blessed the diamonds emanate from Manicaland, the gold and many others. We have more than 16 minerals all emanating from Manicaland, and there is no reason why we cannot be a prosperous Manicaland.
Manicaland is one of the best tourist attractions of Zimbabwe and we are saying much more can be got from tourism. So as we celebrate let us not forget Manicaland is open for business is good for us, we are not a little island, we are part of the global village. We need the investors, when we say we need the investors we are not begging.
We have the natural resources, our gold is capital, our diamonds is the money, so this is the money which should help make roads build schools, build the cities, build bridges and just make sure the industries are up and about so that we have sustainable jobs, I mean sustainable jobs.
We don’t need our children to be churned out of university and not have jobs. So our President is alive to the economic problems which our people are experiencing at the moment. And as you are aware, he is working very hard to make sure that there is some relief. We know the problems of lack of cash, we see a lot of our elderly people spending nights at the banks and the President has declared that this will soon be a thing of the past. We are looking at the prices in the shops going up every day and the President is working hard. We need capital, we need money into the system and this is why you have seen our President wherever he has gone, where he has been acceptable there has been a lot of positive response and you should soon be seeing results in those areas.
So April 18 is a special day for Zimbabweans. Let’s come together and show our oneness. I want to thank you very much people of Manicaland. Siyabonga. Thank you.