COMMENT: ED says, thank you Bulawayo for raising Uhuru bar high

The Chronicle

THE successful hosting of the historic 42nd Independence Day main celebrations has reaffirmed Bulawayo’s status as the cultural hub of the country but beyond that the city is headed for a great resurgence.

Thanks to the devolution drive by the Second Republic, Bulawayo made history by being the first city to host the main Independence Day celebrations outside Harare which had been the traditional venue since 1980 and the City of Kings and Queens did not disappoint.

Bearing testimony to the city’s successful hosting of the Uhuru celebrations, President Mnangagwa, in his weekly column on Saturday, said they stood out and commissioned a new tradition and trajectory in the way the nation hosts and handles national events.

Uhuru celebrations

“We broke with the long-established tradition where all National Events and Commemorations were held in Harare, the Capital City. For the first time since our Independence, Bulawayo Province and City hosted our National Day, thus blazing a new trail and tradition where from now on, all provinces take turns to host National Events and Commemorations,” said President Mnangagwa.

“Bulawayo Province and City did not disappoint; they raised the bar, thus challenging all other provinces yet to host such Commemorations. From the Children’s Party, the Independence Eve Reception, right through to the Main Commemorations in Barbourfields Stadium, everything proceeded like clockwork, with not a single glitch.

“Thank you Bulawayo Province and City for rising to the occasion, and for being such a gracious and nationally-conscious host! You have challenged Mashonaland Central Province, our host next year.”

Together with the First Lady and his family, the President said his three days in the City of Kings and Queens were eventful.

“We relished every moment of our stay, as I am sure did sample delegates drawn from all provinces of our country.

The Children’s Party, the Independence Eve Reception at Bulawayo State House, and the main Commemorations in Barbourfields Stadium, simply confirmed Bulawayo as the cultural capital of our Nation,” he said.

Barbourfields Stadium

“Together with displays by our Security Arms, the whole package was a rich and enchanting cultural ensemble, a real window to who we are as a nation that bubbles with creativity, a nation at peace, united and radiating hope in its secure future.”

More great things beckon for Bulawayo with the President saying the city’s future is growing more secure by the day.

“The water challenges which dogged it from its inception as a sprawling town and city, will be resolved soon.

Government is chasing a very tight timeline to ensure Bulawayo’s thirst is permanently slacked by end of this year. Gwayi-Shangani Lake is on course to completion.

Work on the over 270-kilometre pipeline which is set to deliver abundant water to Bulawayo City, has begun.

Once done, the pipeline will green several agricultural projects along the way with insights on thermal gas power station I got from my recent State Visit to Mozambique, the same pipeline will help actualise our plans to exploit Lupane Gas Fields. It is a double for Bulawayo and the entire Matabeleland Region which stands to benefit from growth spurts which this development triggers,” said President Mnangagwa.

“The power line connecting Hwange 7 and 8 to the main Station at Insukamini is near completion. Before year-end, the first Unit — Hwange 7 — will come on line, thus boosting our national power supply.

Aged Thermal Units in Bulawayo are set to be revamped and upgraded, thanks to a loan Government secured from India. With secure water and power supply, Bulawayo can now unleash its energies, thus reinstating its coveted status as our country’s industrial hub.”

Cold Storage Company

President Mnangagwa said in his working visit to Bulawayo last year, he toured a number of industries, the majority of which had long been mothballed or even closed.

“They have now reopened, presaging the return of industrial confidence through which we reassert our pole position as a manufacturing nation, north of the Limpopo. I am happy that the Cold Storage Company, CSC, is slowly but surely being rebuilt. It is a key enterprise which drives Bulawayo’s overall recovery.

A buoyant CSC must lead in re-establishing our status as a global supplier of quality, tasty beef. Markets for Zimbabwean beef are abundant and insatiable.

National Railways of Zimbabwe

“I am aware that National Railways of Zimbabwe, NRZ, is headquartered here. Again I paid a visit to it, with a view to assessing its needs for full recovery. I am happy that the roadmap for the recovery of NRZ is now clearer.

A partner has now been secured. As with the rest of the country, Bulawayo needs an efficient railway system to integrate our Economy and to connect us to key ports for inbound and outbound economic activities,” said President Mnangagwa.

Article Source: The Chronicle

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