We publish here, the full speech delivered by President Mnangagwa during the official opening of the 7th Zanu PF National People’s Congress in Harare yesterday.
CONGRESS is taking place during a decisive stage of our country’s national development journey, which is appropriately captured in our Congress theme, “Building a Prosperous Zimbabwe, Leaving No-one and No Place Behind”.
The theme must serve as a beacon to the rank and file of our membership and indeed the nation as a whole, that ZANU PF is a Party with a purpose, a Party with a mission and the Party which will drive the realisation of Vision 2030.
During the days of the liberation struggle, it was about delivering independence, sovereignty and freedom for the people of our motherland, Zimbabwe.
This was accomplished in 1980. ZANU PF delivers. Today, we remain focused on delivering a higher quality of life for our people, no matter where they live. ZANU PF has been about the people, it will always be about the people and for the people. We are a mass Party and our people-centred policies, programmes, values and ethos, will always guide us.
As we gather at this historic Congress we, thus, renew our commitment to what our Party stands for as encapsulated in the Party Constitution.
The blood of the many sons and daughters who lost their lives and limbs for the freedom and independence we are enjoying, emboldens us to strive for the prosperity of our nation. Their lives were not lost in vain.
We have our independence, and together we remain determined to defend it. We have our land and together we are making it productive. We have the minerals beneath our land, we are ensuring that these benefit the people of our great country. We have a mission to accomplish; there are lives to improve; communities to develop and a nation to build. This is the focus of ZANU PF now and into the future.
Sadly, during the intervening period, we have lost many comrades, colleagues, heroes and heroines who consistently and persistently served our country both before and after our independence. Other towering figures of Africa who unflinchingly supported the cause of Zimbabwe have also passed on. Their respective contributions to our revolutionary Party, nation and the Pan-African ideals will forever be etched in our memories.
I now invite Congress to rise as we observe a minute of silence in their honour. May their souls continue to rest in eternal peace.
I want to thank Harare Metropolitan Province for hosting the successive elective conferences of the Youth, Women and War Veterans Leagues, which were all outstanding build up events to this 7th National People’s Congress.
Let the unity, spirit of camaraderie and work culture that informed these Conferences, among other programmes of the Party, continue to permeate and saturate our colossal mass Party, ZANU PF.
I am aware that most of you, Congress delegates, have come from different Provinces which make up our Party and Nation, to represent our structures and members. Through you, I greet and salute the entirety of our Party membership, supporters and sympathisers.
I also take the opportunity to welcome our delegates and representatives from sister parties and progressive organisations from around the world. The deep bonds which bind us were forged through our common struggles and shared ideologies, to realise our freedoms, independence and sovereignty. A better quality of life for our peoples and a shared future for mankind, remains our collective hope and aspiration.
ZANU PF is a Party of principles; a dependable friend and ally. We are a friend to all and an enemy to none. Please take back our message of solidarity and reassurance to your respective parties and organisations.
On the 25th of October you joined us in yet another struggle against neo-colonial and hegemonic tendencies. You voiced your support against the illegal, heinous sanctions imposed on our country and people by some countries from the West. As ZANU PF and the people of Zimbabwe, we do not take your solidarity for granted. It emboldens us to continue playing our part in the world wide struggle for the complete eradication of imperialism and colonialism guided by multilateralism and the United Nations Charter.
Despite their negative impact, these illegal sanctions have, however, inspired us that Nyika Inovakwa inotongwa Nevene Vayo, Ilizwe lakhiwa, libuswe ngabanikazi balo.
We are looking inward, harnessing our own capabilities and God-given resources to modernise, industrialise and develop a prosperous country as well as opening new frontiers by engaging the whole world.
Unity among the people of Zimbabwe helped to bring about our independence. We rise or fall by it. Under the Second Republic, ZANU PF is consolidating all efforts to unite the people of Zimbabwe, guided by the principle that we are diverse but one people.
No tribe, region or class must dominate or put itself before any or all. ZANU PF is a national Party, indeed a Party of equals. Our struggle knew no tribal or regional boundaries. Our goal was to liberate our great motherland, Zimbabwe. We are a Unitary State and an indivisible country. Under the Second Republic, the Party thus, continues to foster national unity within its ranks, and uniting the whole country.
We are marching towards the decisive success of building and developing our beloved country; village by village; community by community; ward by ward; district by district and province by province. This is the promise that this Congress and ZANU PF makes to the people: “No one and no place will be left behind”.
Nyika inovakwa, igotongwa nevene vayo. Ndisu vene vayo. Tiri kuvaka, nekutonga Nyika yekwedu. Ilizwe lakhiwa, libuswe ngabanikazi balo. Yithi abanikazi belizwe lethu.
As the people of Zimbabwe, we have the sacred burden to build our country and govern our people.
At this 7th National People’s Congress, we gather for renewal in our service to our Party and the nation as a whole. The Amendments to the Party Constitution which will be tabled at this Congress are reflective of the new socio-economic and political realities. These must further enhance efficiency and synergies in the implementation of the Party mandate, resolutions, policies and programmes. This is in line with the democratic principles, constitutionalism and the rule of law that anchor our Party.
Allow me at this juncture to once again commend the National and Provincial Elections Directorates, as well as the candidates and the Party membership in general, for their vibrant participation in various Constitutional Elections held during the period since our last Congress. The enthusiasm which is always shown in our internal elections amply demonstrates that ZANU PF is alive and remains the only true defender of the democracy that we fought for and brought about.
The holding of this Congress puts to shame and exposes political hypocrites and pretenders. We will never invite our former colonisers to come back to rule us. We continue to handle our affairs with maturity as an organised, tried and tested revolutionary Party.
This Congress, therefore, will have definite outcomes which will place our Party in readiness for the 2023 Harmonised General Elections. Under ZANU PF, Zimbabwe is in safe hands.
The period since the 6th National People’s Congress has seen unprecedented national rejuvenation, socio-economic recovery and growth. ZANU PF has demonstrated courage to reform and break new ground.
Guided by the Party policies and resolutions, our ZANU PF led Government has boldly made decisions and instituted policies that have resulted in cross-cutting reforms and the transformation of various departments of Government.
We successfully implemented the Transitional Stabilisation Programme which led to the present comprehensive and all-encompassing National Development Strategy 1.
At Party level, we are accelerating the modernisation and re-generation processes of our revolutionary movement, while internal-democratic practices have been deepened. This saw the successful holding of internal elections of various organs, as stipulated in our Constitution, with broader participation of our membership base, albeit bringing to the fore, the need to continually strengthen the ideological grounding of all Party cadres.
The bold decision to establish the War Veterans League, completes the Party’s critical organs. To you, our War Veterans, we welcome your maiden attendance of the National People’s Congress as a wing of the Party. This is the Party of your sacrifices. It is ours together and demands more from us. Let us all defend it; defend its values and immutable goals, fundamentally the preservation of our Independence, freedom, unity, sovereignty and democracy.
It is encouraging that the Chitepo School of Ideology is now fully functional, and rising to the demands and realities of our Party, which includes raising national consciousness among all Party cadres. As the Party of Liberation and a Party of the present and future, we are producing ideas and values that are shaping society as well as developing our nation. The Party is thus, re-generating, evolving, modernising and growing.
We recognise and applaud the growing visibility of the Party that has seen the rise of vibrant affiliate organisations such as Young Women for Economic Development; Men BelievED: Teachers for Economic Development, Health Ambassadors for Economic Development; students’ organisations. Mahwindi for Economic Development; Vapositori for Economic Development; and Pastors for Economic Development, among many others.
Riding on the spirit of unity and present momentum towards the growth of the Party, a comprehensive scientific compilation of our membership, cell by cell, must be speedily consolidated.
The growth of the Party among the diaspora community is equally noted. Meanwhile, let us also continue welcoming many comrades coming home to ZANU PF from the opposition. Tose tinokwana muhomwe ye ZANU PF. Everyone is welcome in ZANU PF.
Allow me now to highlight the critical successes scored by the Party and the ZANU PF led Government for the benefit of the people of our country. Our revolutionary colossal mass Party has brought about a stable macro-economic environment, as well as policy consistency and predictability, among others.
In spite of the set-backs and delays due to the illegal economic sanctions as well as the impact of Cyclone Idai and the COVID-19 pandemic, we are marching forward ever, backward never.
We are a Party of results, a Party of action, production and productivity. We are realising broad based development and the sustainable economic empowerment of our people. As a mass Party, our Government continues to avail opportunities for all our people to realise a higher quality of life. The policies, programmes and projects of the ZANU PF led Government are lifting many out of poverty, into prosperity.
The comprehensive Agriculture Food Systems Transformation Strategy and the Agriculture 8.0 Model, have seen the number of households receiving support under the Presidential Input Support Scheme, Pfumvudza/Intwasa Programme, doubling to over 3 million households. Additional support is also being channelled to the Presidential Livestock, Piggery, Goat, Poultry, Fisheries, Tick Grease and Horticulture Programmes, among others.
The focused and strategic approach to the productive and efficient utilisation of our land has seen us realise national self-sufficiency in wheat production, in just one season. Comprehensive plans are in place to increase output of all our strategic grains. Under ZANU PF we will realise national food security and produce the food that we eat as well as enough through-put for our industries.
Since the last Congress, systems in the agriculture sector have been radically transformed. Inputs are now distributed on time, while training and extension support is being availed to more of our people. Mechanisation and modernisation is widespread with tailor-made mechanisation solutions being deployed for small-holder and communal farmers. The on-going wide-spread construction of dams and irrigation development is increasing production and productivity across all provinces. defying the previous agro-regional stereo-types.
ARDA Estates throughout the country are being resuscitated, modernised and mechanised, while the Agriculture Marketing Authority and the Grain Marketing Board have been re-modelled to make them more responsive.
Government is restructuring COTTCO so that it better serves our people.
I applaud all our farmers across the various categories and stakeholders along the agriculture value chain for the successes that have been realised to date. Plans are in place for a successful 2022/2023 summer cropping season. Producer prices are now competitively pegged and timeously reviewed in line with market trends.
In the Mining Sector, an array of new investments and exploration projects are being established across every province of our country. We set out to realise a US$12 billion mining industry by 2023.
In just over three years, the sector has grown from US$2.8 billion in 2017, to the current US$7.2 billion dollar industry. The set target will be realised.
New investments in the mining sector, leveraging on our large reserves of chrome, lithium, iron, platinum, gold, diamonds, as well as the anticipated oil and gas discoveries are leaping forward our country. We are set to emerge as a dynamic industrial hub churning out a wide range of “Made in Zimbabwe” goods and services. In the same vein, we have launched the Mapinga Industrial Energy Hub investment worth over US$13 billion which will create over 25 000 jobs.
The new investments are availing more employment and empowerment opportunities, especially for women and the youth. Meanwhile, sustainable frameworks are being implemented to ensure that communities have lasting benefits from their local resource endowments.
We have introduced the Commodity’s Reserve in gold, diamonds and platinum, a first ever in 42 years. ZANU PF is delivering results and impacting lives.
The Import Substitution Strategy and Local Content Policy are having great spinoffs to the manufacturing sector. Capacity utilisation continues to increase with an emergence of a new crop of patriotic industrialists, committed to building our motherland, Zimbabwe.
Products from SME’s and the establishment of rural industry systems are gaining momentum. Slowly but surely, we are finding ourselves as the people of Zimbabwe and gaining confidence in our systems, institutions and policies. Our paradigm is shifting around our rallying national development agenda. Together as one nation and united under one national flag, Zimbabwe is rising. We are a great people and an unstoppable nation.
Riding on the peaceful and stable socio-political environment, coupled with our Engagement and Re-engagement Policy, the tourism sector has seen exponential growth in both infrastructure and growth of visitors from a broader cross section of source markets. The number of airlines flying into our beautiful and hospitable country has grown from three in 2017, to the present 17 airlines. We have moved our country from a state of “isolation”, to an active member within the comity of nations and a favourable tourist destination.
Due to the debilitating impact of the illegal economic sanctions, our infrastructure had fallen behind that of our counterparts in the region. However, during the reporting period, the rehabilitation and construction of infrastructure penetrated across the breadth and length of our country. The Beitbridge-Masvingo-Harare highway is near completion and stands as a historic landmark of our local resourcefulness through the use of internal skills.
Energy infrastructures continue to grow responding to the fast expansion of our modernisation and industrialisation drive, with increased investment in both thermal and renewable energy sources. Hwange Unit 7 will be commissioned during November this year, while Unit 8 will be completed by the 1st quarter of 2023.
Roads, dams, schools and clinics as well as water and sanitation infrastructure have been constructed. Lake Gwayi-Shangani, conceptualised in 1912, is almost complete with construction having begun under the decisive leadership of the Second Republic. Other dams such as Marovanyati, Muchekeranwa, among others are complete, while every province has a dam under construction. Irrigation development will see our nation mitigate the negative impact of climate change and being food secure, with or without the requisite rainfall.
Our ports of entry, border posts and airports are being modernised to be in sync with the needs of our growing economy and that of our region. Penetration of ICTs as well as radio and television coverage have been broadened. Media space has opened up, allowing for more private players and greater choice for the viewing and listening public.
Health indicators are showing notable improvements. Access to affordable and quality education is now wide spread, with schools being constructed throughout the country. Our children will not walk more than 5 km to school. All of us here present bear witness to these developments and successes right from ward level. Tose tiri kuzviona.
Our revolutionary Party is certainly improving the living conditions of the people of our great country, while enhancing their right to be part of the national development discourse. Chara chimwe hachitswanyi inda. Inkezo iyanikezwana. From Zambezi to Limpopo, Plumtree to Mutare, let us all continue building a prosperous Zimbabwe, leaving no one and no place behind.
The Science, Technology and Innovation space created under the Second Republic has seen hitherto unimagined ingenuity and a culture of innovation emerging from our talented young boys and girls. This Heritage Based Education 5.0 philosophy is resulting in trailblazing inventions and start-ups from innovation hubs and industrial parks established within State Universities. The ripple effects are positively impacting on our rural industrialisation system and quest to realise increased incomes among our grassroots communities.
In keeping with our mantra of leaving no one and no place behind, similar support will be extended to privately run institutions of higher education, such as Africa University, Solusi University, the Catholic University, Reformed Church University and ZEGU, among others. As the People’s Party, we are creating an enabling environment for the people of Zimbabwe, especially the youth, to realise their full potential. Those with talent will continue to be supported and rewarded.
The people-centred policies of ZANU PF are propelling sustainable empowerment, wealth creation and inclusivity among the youth and women as well as the disabled.
The inclusion of the out-going members of the National Youth League Executive as ex-officio members of the Central Committee and the enactment of the reserved seats for the youth in the National Assembly, are a reflection of our Party’s determination to nurture and mentor a youth corps that will learn first-hand the Party’s traditions, processes and procedures.
In the same vein, the proportional representation 30% quota for women in Local Authorities will undoubtedly enhance the participation of women in governance at the local level. More so, as women bear the brunt of poor service delivery within Local Authorities.
ZANU PF is a Party committed to the well being of the people, in both rural and urban areas. We are a Party which will never abandon the people of Zimbabwe. This saw our Party implement a robust, responsive and development-oriented Devolution and Decentralisation Policy. The Policy continues to engender the letter and spirit of participatory democracy. The people at the grassroots level now decide their own development priorities and projects, towards better service delivery and an improved quality of life among our communities.
Comrade Delegates; Our national culture, heritage, pride and identity are important ingredients for a prosperous nation. To this end, ZANU PF and its Government remain a dependable custodian for the preservation, promotion and safeguarding of our diverse cultures, national languages and rich liberation war heritage.
The iconic Mbuya Nehanda statue was mounted in Harare during the reporting period, while that of Father Zimbabwe, Cde Dr Joshua Nkomo “Chibwe Chitedza”, stands towering in the City of Bulawayo. The holistic recognition of our country’s liberation war luminaries, heroes and heroines is ongoing.
Our country is honoured to be host to the Museum of African Liberation which is under construction. The preservation of national shrines, both within and outside the country, continues to be prioritised. Our Creative Cultural Industries are being motivated to tell the true story of our country’s history, present realities and vision for the future.
The Engagement and Re-engagement Policy is yielding immense benefits as we continue our quest to be “a friend to all and an enemy of none”. We are playing our part within SADC, the African Union and United Nations for the realisation of peace in our region, the African Continent and beyond. The recent upsurge in the election victories for strategic positions in international organisations is yet another vote of confidence in our country.
The “Zimbabwe is Open for Business” mantra saw our nation realise investment growth across all sectors of the economy. Our Zimbabweans in the Diaspora have come on board and are playing their part in nation building.
Equally, their increased involvement in the Party has been one of the success stories in harnessing the collective patriotism of all Zimbabweans, no matter where they live.
This 7th National People’s Congress presents an opportunity for us to take stock, introspect and chart a way forward for our colossal, revolutionary mass Party. Today, as we gather at this landmark event, we are emboldened by the milestones we have achieved. Our Party is inspired by the unity of our membership and that in our nation.
Collectively as Delegates at this Congress, we pronounce our Party’s readiness to yet again win another mandate to govern our beloved mother land, Zimbabwe, during the upcoming 2023 Harmonised General elections. Under our watch ZANU PF will continue to govern this land of our forefathers fathers. Nyika yechisikirwa. Illizwe labo khokho bethu.
ZANU PF is ready. Our systems are oiled. Election materials and resources are in place to mount a roaring campaign for a thunderous victory of our Party. The people’s revolution is ongoing and unstoppable. We will continue building a prosperous Zimbabwe and realising transformational achievements for the people of our country, leaving no one and no place behind. Victory is certain.
With these remarks, it is now my singular honour and privilege to declare the 7th National People’s Congress officially opened. I wish you all Congress Delegates successful deliberations.