NO-ONE WILL STARVE UNDER MY WATCH, SAYS ED newsdzeZimbabweNewsdzeZimbabwe

NO-ONE WILL STARVE UNDER MY WATCH, SAYS ED newsdzeZimbabweNewsdzeZimbabwe

President Mnangagwa reiterated that no Zimbabwean will die of hunger despite the challenges posed by El Niño-induced drought, stressing that the government is working tirelessly to ensure adequate food stocks until the next harvest season.

The President said he had directed the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Dr. Anxius Masuka, as well as the Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion, Professor Mthuli Ncube, to secure adequate food stocks.

He was addressing a gathering that included First Lady Dr Auxilia Mnangagwa, family members, senior government and ruling party officials and ordinary people who gathered at Mnangagwa’s family home in Masvingo North Constituency to attend a memorial service and unveiling of the grave of his late grandson Yasha Mafidi Mnangagwa. He is the son of one of his sons, Sean, who died in October 2022.

He was five years old.

He said the government has launched a national initiative to set up business units in all 35,000 villages across the country.

This exercise aims primarily to support rural women to enhance food security and support local economies, in line with Vision 2030. These units will consist of solar-powered wells to irrigate one hectare and fish farming facilities.

“Yes, there is a drought this year, but we want to assure you that we, as your government, are doing everything within our power and capabilities so that there is not a family in Zimbabwe, from Zambezi to Limpopo, that succumbs to hunger due to hunger. Food shortages,” the President said.

“I have my minister in charge of agriculture here, his name is Dr. Worry Masuka and we sat down and asked ourselves what we should do so that there is no one left and no place left, and he counted all the villages in the country, 35,000 in number.

“So, he is launching a national program where every village in this country will get a solar-powered well to irrigate a one-hectare fenced plot of land, and the women in that particular village will form a company that will run a business unit, which will also have a fish pond…and water will be available.” From the solar-powered well, the women will raise fish.

“So far, many such business units have been set up across the country. The work is ongoing and all 35,000 villages in the country will get these business units.

President Mnangagwa, who has since declared a state of disaster, said he was working closely with the two ministries to ensure Zimbabwe had enough food to avoid hunger.

“I am working closely with him (Minister Masuka) and Minister Ncube and we have already worked out how long the food we have in the country will last and also how long food imports will be enough for us.

“So, we want to assure you that, as a country, we have faced drought, but as a country with a functioning government, no one will die of hunger or starve because we have faced drought; we must agree on that!” President Mnangagwa, whose speech was full of humour, also demonstrated his knowledge Deep in the Bible.

He stressed the need for Zimbabweans to uphold their traditional culture and values, saying they are the foundation of all progressive nations.

He said the Second Republic was moving forward with developing Zimbabwe into a strong, modern, prosperous and highly industrialized country over the next six years.

He praised First Lady Dr Mnangagwa as a hero and ambassador of the country’s rich culture and traditions.

The President said the First Lady deserves to be honored because she designed the national uniform that helped define Zimbabweans and identify them as a unique people with their own traditional culture and values.

“Sometimes, when we sit in Cabinet, we say, as the people of Zimbabwe, we must never forget our roots; we must never forget our culture,” he continued.

“I didn’t even know what the Gota/Nhanga/Ixhiba program was, but now I know what it is.

“There were girls dancing here while wearing the national dress… Now, if you go to Ghana, they have their own national dress.

“In Eswatini, they also have their own personalities, such that whenever you see them even at the UN, you can easily recognize that this person is from Ghana or Eswatini.

“Here in Zimbabwe, we will now also be recognized by our national dress, and this national dress is a result of the First Lady’s vision.”

Moving on to the memorial service and unveiling of the tombstone, the President said that yesterday was a day to celebrate the short life of his late grandson.

He also briefly recounted his grandson’s last day, saying Yasha Mafidi was very close to his grandmother Dr Mnangagwa.

He thanked his in-laws Kutyauripos. The Manguiros, who are the family of his daughter-in-law and Yasha Mafidi’s mother; and other relatives for joining the Mnangagwa family in celebrating the life of his late grandson.

Addressing the same gathering, the First Lady thanked Zimbabweans for the support they provided to her family following the death of her grandson.

“Since we lost our grandson, you have been standing with us,” she said.

“I want to thank you – the people of Masvingo; The people of Zimbabwe in general – for your love and kindness, and for standing with us during the time we lost our beloved grandson.

“I watched my grandson grow up, he was an avid farmer, and I did my best to support him and foster his interest in farming.

“I also challenge you Zimbabweans to look at your children as they grow and help them hone their talents and areas of interest.”

She thanked everyone who attended the memorial service and unveiling of the headstone, including her family members from Mashonaland Central Province, saying the day was to remember and reflect on the life of her late grandson.

The memorial ceremony was attended by senior government and ruling party officials, including Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Dr. Genevan Mousavi; Minister of Mines and Mining Development Winston Chitando; Minister of State for the Presidency Lovemore Matuke; Chief Fortune Charumbira, President of the Pan-African Parliament; and Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs and Delegation Ezra Chadzamira, among others.

The Mnangagwa family donated food baskets to those in attendance. Sunday mail

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