Bulawayo, Matabeleland North youths receive Presidential heifers

The Chronicle

Leonard Ncube, Victoria Falls Reporter
BULAWAYO and Matabeleland North youths yesterday received heifers donated by President Mnangagwa under the Presidential Heifer Pass-on Scheme.

Last month, President Mnangagwa launched the Provincial Integrated Youth Skills Development Centres for each of the country’s 10 provinces where 500 youths will be recruited annually to learn agriculture skills.

Each Provincial and Devolution Minister was tasked to identify 500 hectares of land to be dedicated for youth projects as Government moves to empower them.

Youths in Matabeleland North and Bulawayo received 70 and 50 heifers, respectively, at a provincial launch held in Tsholotsho yesterday.

Matabeleland North Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Richard Moyo and his Bulawayo counterpart Judith Ncube presided over the launch.

The 120 heifers are being kept on quarantine at Ngcwabeni Centre in Tsholotsho as a health precaution to prevent possible spread of diseases when livestock is moved from one province to the other, before they can be taken to farms that will be identified for each of the two provinces.

The idea is that once the heifers give birth, the offspring will be passed on to other youths as the scheme cascades to the grassroots.

Speaking during the launch, Minister Moyo thanked President Mnangagwa and implored youths to embrace empowerment programmes being introduced by Government.

He said the programme exhibits Government’s commitment to empowering youths while urging them to focus on developing the country through supporting the Second Republic.

“It is my singular honour to officiate at this function where I hand over 70 heifers for Matabeleland North and 50 heifers for Bulawayo province donated by his Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, President Mnangagwa to the youths in Matabeleland North and Bulawayo provinces, respectively.

“This is indeed a momentous occasion as it is evidence that the Second Republic is aware of the important role that youths can play in our development. The President has always emphasised that no one and no place will be left behind in development and today we are witnessing it.

“These heifers are not only being donated to you in our province but to youths in various provinces throughout the country. I appeal to youths in these two provinces to embrace various empowerment programmes offered in the skill development centre and desist from engaging in illicit drugs that are a threat to their future,” he said.

Minister Moyo said the National Development Strategy (NDS1) envisages to increase the number of youths accessing empowerment opportunities in all sectors of the economy from 16 000 in 2020 to 200 000 by 2025.

He said the scheme is testimony that the Second Republic is working towards attainment of vision 2030 through improving livestock production.

Minister Moyo said by virtue of receiving the heifers, the youths were now farmers and challenged them to embrace the devolution agenda and start their own businesses using the skills attained from the scheme.

He said youths must desist from flocking to neighbouring countries for jobs.

The herd will be moved to selected provincial integrated centres once infrastructure is ready at the identified farms, said Minister Moyo.

“I would like to thank President Mnangagwa for this donation. The success in agriculture translates into economic boom for the nation. Since 1980 we were seeing development in other provinces, but through the Second Republic the President is walking the talk. When this programme started, some were skeptical, but it has started with you today,” he said.

Bulawayo Provincial Affairs Minister Judith Ncube urged youths to jealously guard the cattle against theft or attack by predators.

“We are grateful to President Mnangagwa for realising that youth are the future leaders and to all youths I say, here is a leader who is giving you something to start with so you get empowered. Let’s develop those skills of managing this gift so that we don’t get embarrassed when other provinces report how they would have multiplied and ours would have depleted. Can you go out there and do us proud,” she said.

Receiving the herd, Zanu-PF Youth League secretary for transport and welfare, Cde Elizabeth Masuku, who is also Matabeleland North proportional representation legislator, thanked President Mnangagwa for having young people at heart.

“We are grateful for the gesture by the President and as youths we look forward to the fact that these cattle will empower us.

This is what young people need and we will try by all means to keep them safe so that the scheme cascades to grassroots so that we do not leave anyone behind in line with what President Mnangagwa has said,” said Cde Masuku.

On behalf of Bulawayo Province, Cde Sibongile Sibanda, who is also a Zanu-PF Youth League executive member said: “We hope to defy the odds since we were being looked down upon as people who can’t practice agriculture and we are grateful that the President remembered us and has given us this opportunity.

As Bulawayo, we thank President Mnangagwa and we will religiously stick to the pass-on model of the scheme and ensure everyone is empowered.” – @ncubeleon

Article Source: The Chronicle

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