PRESIDENT Mnangagwa today takes his urban renewal agenda to the sprawling town of Chitungwiza where he will enunciate policies and interventions that his administration has crafted to save urbanites from the opposition misgovernance and its twin evil of corruption.
The President’s visit to the dormitory town where a parliamentary seat is up for grabs in the March 26 by-elections rounds up the rallies that have seen him travelling across the country preaching the ruling party gospel of development.
In urban areas, that have decayed under the watch of the opposition, in all its variations, the President is providing solutions through constructing roads, providing water and is now set to build shelf industries to attract investors.
In an interview yesterday, Zanu PF spokesperson Cde Chris Mutsvangwa said the President will today be a guest of the people of St Mary’s, one of the contested constituencies in a mini-election. Altogether there are 28 constituencies and 122 local authority seats up for grabs.
Cde Mutsvangwa said in the hands of opposition parties, the country’s urban areas have been reduced to desolate towns and cities — lacking essentials such as water.
“People in urban areas had wallowed in misery because of the administrative rule by the MDC which became the ascendant party of the urban areas courtesy of the sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe. These sanctions inordinately hit the urban population.
“As a result of the suffering from the sanctions, the people in urban areas shifted their allegiance to the MDC. However, because of the lack of clarity, lack of ideology and lack of purpose on the part of the MDC the urban population has paid a heavy price in terms of the total neglect of any administrative and civic responsibility by the MDC.
“Their focus remained on getting to State House, even overlooking the fact that they had won local Government power, they had a responsibility to the citizenry in urban areas to make sure urban areas run as efficient and as well-meaning institutions for the urban areas,” he said.
Failure by successive MDC councils has resulted in towns running without water while garbage goes for months uncollected, roads are potholed, and every open piece of land has been corruptly parcelled to desperate home-seekers, in contravention of standing by-laws.
“Sanctions affect people in urban areas the most, so the MDC — now CCC — lifted a big stone by way of sanctions only to drop it on their feet because they killed the urban areas and now the urban electorate is angry. They pay rates and never get any services, this is because the opposition is clueless.
“So tomorrow (today) the CCC will hear a solid message from the President in contrast to their kudira jecha agenda. The President will be positive, offering title deeds for the first time in the history of the country, he is now well advanced in doing that,” said Cde Mutsvangwa.
Apart from gifting urban dwellers with the historic title deeds, President Mnangagwa will also bring shelf factories for urban areas that can be hubs for investment between Zimbabweans living in the Diaspora and their business partners.
President Mnangagwa, who was in Dubai recently has also come up with a Diaspora Agenda that is framed to tap into the skills of Zimbabweans based abroad towards the industrialisation and urbanisation of the country.
“These shelf companies will be for the enterprising returnees from the Diaspora. They can come with their partners whom they identify in the various jurisdictions where they are working. The President is essentially saying to the Diaspora you are our urban development partners please come, and in the meantime I will put together a clutch of policies which will make sure that your business ventures will succeed as quickly as you arrive in Zimbabwe.
“This will restore roads, it will restore electricity, it will restore running water because people will be getting jobs, from jobs they get wages and from wages they will be able to support themselves. This is a very creative forward-looking agenda, which the MDC in two decades of consistent administration of cities and towns has never bothered to address.
“The MDC doesn’t know the purpose of urban centres, which is to produce goods and services for the local market, for the national market, for the regional market and for the international market.
“Tomorrow (today) the MDC will get a solid awakening from the President as he provides an urban alternative agenda to the people who have suffered for so long.”
Cde Mutsvangwa said the opposition, instead of building factories, roads, providing water and attracting investors as is being done by President Mnangagwa, it has been busy feeding fat on ratepayers.
“Because they have got this sordid record, (Mr Nelson) Chamisa on assumption of power changes the name of the MDC which has this bad record and assumes the name CCC (Citizens Coalition for Change). They think that changing a name will make the electorate forget that they are accountable for the malfeasance which is in urban areas.
“So tomorrow (today), the President goes back to another major urban centre and his message is to say I have an agenda for urban renewal,” said Cde Mutsvangwa.
In rural areas, Cde Mutsvangwa said the ruling party has been doing well because of its people-tailored programmes such as Pfumvudza, a scheme that has restored food security, but the same rural folk would need markets to sell their products, which should be the urban areas.
“The President has seen that the people in urban areas need to be linked again with the people in rural areas because nobody should be left behind, that is his slogan. So this rally talks about the urban area renewal agenda because they deservedly play their part in the ongoing economic revival which has now become the hallmark of the Second Republic,” he said.
Cde Mutsvangwa said with the country’s economy expected to grow by more than 5 percent, urban areas will be the chief beneficiaries and that is one of the reasons why President Mnangagwa has turned fully on urban areas to take them aboard the unstoppable train of development.
He added that what is worth noting is that the majority of seats under contestation on Saturday belonged to the opposition, and only arose due to the internecine fights that have always been the bane of the MDC, now CCC, since its creation by Western countries at the turn of millennium.
“On March 26, that is when people go to the polling booth, I can assure that Zanu PF will return all its seats although they are the few because we don’t have recalls from Zanu PF, we have natural wastage, people died or were redeployed, the majority belonged to the MDC so any gain we will make will be at the expense of the opposition.
“We are really fishing in the pond of the MDC, they can’t be a test of the power structure of Zimbabwe because Zanu PF already exists in Parliament with an absolute majority. The by-elections cannot change who the ruler of Zimbabwe is on March 26, what it does is that it gives us an opportunity to fish in the pond of the MDC and the President will offer a solid agenda of urban renewal because Vision 2030 cannot be realised if urban areas are not taking part in playing their rightful role in the revival of the economy,” said Cde Mutsvangwa.