Zimbabwe is expected to host the Tobacco Investments and Promotion Conference aimed at improving market prospects for players in the tobacco industry and scaling up their operations.

 

The conference, which will be held between April 5 and 6, will be officially opened by Vice President Constantino Chiwenga.

 

In a statement yesterday, the managing consultant for Global PFFG Business Solutions Mr Pio Gotore said the conference was expected to bring together more than 250 delegates.

 

“These include farmers unions, environmental and climate campaigners, civic sector groups, senior Government officials, committee chairpersons for Parliament and a broad range of investors, including sovereign wealth funds, institutional investors, fund managers, corporate investors, investment banks and asset managers, among others,” he said.

 

Mr Gotore said the conference will provide delegates with an opportunity to explore the country’s tobacco industry’s vast investment opportunities, including from agro production, processing and marketing, within the whole tobacco chain.

 

“It also provides delegates with a networking platform with key stakeholders, Government officials, corporates and investors,” Mr Gotore said.

 

He said tobacco was grown by small scale farmers whose livelihoods also depended on the success of the sector.

 

“Therefore, the conference also seeks to bring together key players in the sector and other sectors to interrogate approaches aimed at improving market prospects for players in the tobacco value chain and scaling up their operations profitably,” Mr Gotore said.

 

The conference also comes at a time when all is set for the opening of the 2018 tobacco marketing season next Wednesday, with the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board expressing satisfaction with the readiness of operators during an inspection of the three licensed floors in Harare.

 

The TIMB board recently inspected Premier Tobacco Auction Floors, Boka Tobacco Auction Floors and Tobacco Sales Floors.

 

TIMB chairperson Mrs Monica Chinamasa said there was need for stakeholders in the tobacco industry to work together to ensure a smooth marketing season, especially on the cash issue.

 

RBZ also announced that farmers would get a maximum of $300 cash per sale this season.

 

Mrs Chinamasa urged farmers to use the cash for critical things like paying for labour

 

There are 29 buyers and 23 contractors that have been licensed for this season.

Negotiations for the Zimbabwean Government to rejoin the Commonwealth are ongoing and consultations are at an advanced stage, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Lieutenant-General Sibusiso Moyo (Retired) said yesterday.

Rtd Lt-Gen Moyo said the new administration was not facing any impediments with regards to it being a member of the Commonwealth.

 

He said this while responding to questions without notice from Hurungwe West legislator Keith Guzah, who had asked what Government policy was with regards to rejoining the Commonwealth.

 

“They were reasons which led to Zimbabwe extricating itself from the Commonwealth. As a result of that the country withdrew itself from the Commonwealth after suspension,” he said.

 

“However, the current position is that there is no impediment whatsoever why Zimbabwe would be averse to rejoining the Commonwealth. In fact, the process which is there at the moment is that there are necessary processes and consultations, which are taking place.

 

”These consultations should again inform the Executive so that the processes of rejoining the Commonwealth could then be undertaken.”

 

President Mnangagwa is on record expressing interest in Zimbabwe rejoining the commonwealth.

 

Former President, Mr Robert Mugabe, withdrew Zimbabwe from the commonwealth in 2003.

 

The new administration led by President Mnangagwa is opening Zimbabwe for business and is eager to end the isolation of the country on the global stage

Finance and Economic Planning Minister Patrick Chinamasa is optimistic Zimbabwe will meet its 4,5 percent economic growth projections for 2018, with a possibility of breaching the 6 percent mark.

 

The bullish economic outlook, Minister Chinamasa said, was anchored on policy and economic reforms spearhead by President Mnangagwa since he took oath of office on November 24 last year.

 

President Mnangagwa’s regime has emphasised re-engagement at a global level, security of investment, respect for property rights, zero tolerance for corruption, arrears clearance, as well as policy clarity and consistency in his drive to re-energise an economy that has suffered lack of FDI for the past 16 years under the yoke of Western sanctions.

 

The President’s re-engagement with the broader international community is expected to attract FDI and change the country’s fortunes.

 

Minister Chinamasa told The Herald Business on the sidelines of the just-ended 48th World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meetings in Davos, Switzerland, that Government was optimistic it would breach its 4,5 economic forecast enunciated in the 2018 National Budget.

 

He said Treasury also expects to surpass IMF economic growth projections for Zimbabwe. Last year, Zimbabwe forecast its economy to grow by 3,7 percent against the IMF’s initial projection of 0,7 percent which was later revised to 2,8 percent. “Well, I’m sure that we will prove them wrong as we did last year. As you are aware, in 2017 the projections from the IMF were almost 0,7 percent growth, but we put it at 3,7 percent throughout.

 

“They then revised their projections in August to 2,8 percent which in itself was a concession that their initial projections were wrong,” Minister Chinamasa said, adding; “So we have remained stuck to our 3,7 percent projection for last year and I’m sure that this will be proved wrong.”

 

“For this year, in the National Budget, we projected 4,5 percent and I have been saying that given what we are doing in terms of policies, in terms of economic reforms, I think that 4,5 percent projection may well be conservative. “I will not be surprised if we end up, towards the end of the year, all things being equal, at around 6 percent growth. I will not be surprised.”

 

Minister Chinamasa said Zimbabwe had taken a more aggressive stance towards implementing economic reforms.

 

“Whether we are talking about State enterprises, whether we are talking about the mining sector, agriculture or tourism, we are much more aggressive and our act is now in order in terms of implementation. So when all these things are implemented I’m more than certain that we will be able to exceed the 4,5 percent projected growth rate,” Minister Chinamasa said.

 

The 2018 growth forecast, according to the National Budget, is premised on scaled up agricultural financing and economic and policy reforms. President Mnangagwa has hit the ground running, preaching Zimbabwe is open for business. So far, Government has scored big in a historic appearance at the WEF event held in Davos last week.

 

At the event, President Mnangagwa and his officials met with World Bank, IMF and African Development Bank bosses as well as global leaders. The World Bank made a commitment to assist Zimbabwe in its arrears clearance, a move expected to unlock fresh capital at concessional rates.

 

A tailor-made package from the World Bank, to be preceded by a needs assessment exercise, is expected within three months from the date Zimbabwe clears $1,15 billion in arrears to the Bretton Woods institution. Zimbabwe also owes the African Development Bank about $601 million. Funding from World Bank will be allocated towards infrastructure development and social projects that are expected to drive economic growth.

The United Nations (UN) says it is impressed by preparations for harmonised elections to be held by August 31 and pledged to support Government’s commitment to hold free, fair and credible elections, including current efforts at economic revival.

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator and UN Development Group vice chairman Mr Achim Steiner said this yesterday after his meetings with Vice President General Constantino Chiwenga (Retired) and Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Lieutenant-General Sibusiso Busi Moyo (Retired).

President Mnangagwa has appealed to institutions of higher and tertiary learning to provide education and skills that are relevant to the country’s immediate economic developmental challenges while also coming up with technologies that benefit present and future generations.

 

He said the institutions should recognise the agricultural sector and agro-based value chain industries as an integral part of the economy. President Mnangagwa, who is Chancellor of all State universities, said this while addressing Vice Chancellors, lecturers, academics and captains of industry during a meeting he convened to interface with heads of higher and tertiary institutions in Harare yesterday.

 

“Institutions of higher learning should not be satisfied with a very high literacy rate or about many graduates who have passed through their gates. They should instead harness their collective skills and intellectual capacity within their respective institutions to develop our beloved country. Education should be productive, it should be responsive and relevant to the society’s needs for present and future generations,” said President Mnangagwa.

 

He said the pursuit for industrialisation and economic growth in Zimbabwe demanded tertiary institutions to think creatively about the manufacturing sector, value addition and beneficiation, import substitution, export promotion and development of small to medium enterprises.

 

“Institutions of higher learning should also recognise the agricultural sector and agro-based value chain industries as an integral part of our economy. Equally, they have a leading role in shaping the economy through science and technology being the test beds for innovation and educating future generations,” he said. Questions, said President Mnangagwa, had to be asked regarding how tertiary institutions fit in the mode of industrialisation and international trade policies.

 

“I therefore exhort local universities to establish academic synergies with industry, commerce and other renowned international universities or centres of academic excellence to boost their capacity in research and technology development through academic cooperation,” he said. President Mnangagwa said there was need to reward those who excelled in creativity and innovation, and called for the protection of their intellectual property.

 

“In this regard, I exhort the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to ensure that copyrights, patents and all other rights of inventors, innovators, scientists and technologists are fully protected. More concerted efforts must be made to fight against piracy; this vice dampens the spirit of innovation and creativeness,” he said.

 

President Mnangagwa said corruption, which he continues to condemn, usually thrives in a society where people readily forego what is true and good in exchange for selfish interests and undeserved wealth.

 

“Deplorable corrupt and immoral tendencies that have seen undeserving students getting passes must go. Our children, both male and female alike, should not be subjected to abuse in whatever form, for marks or higher grades. Learners must be free to report any cases of corruption without fear or favour and perpetrators should 

“Real men do not prowl our university campuses and take advantage of our young girls’ socio-economic backgrounds to abuse them in whatever form or style. To that end, the role of universities in the preservation of national identity, cultural heritage and moral societal fibre cannot be over-empahisized. I thus exhort all higher learning institutions to endavour to protect, promote and preserve these cultural values and practices which enhance the dignity, well-being and equality of Zimbabweans as enshrined in our Constitution.”

 

He said Government would construct accommodation facilities for students and staff through Public-Private Partnership and Build, Operate and Transfer models.

 

Yesterday’s event was attended by the country’s two Vice Presidents – General Constantino Chiwenga (Retired) and Kembo Mohadi; Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Amon Murwira, Cabinet Ministers and senior Government officials and captains of industry.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said he is setting up a leaner Cabinet that will not tolerate bureaucratic sloth as an excuse for stalling service delivery to citizens and investors. The new Cabinet, President Mnangagwa said, would see the merging of some ministries to avoid duplications and contain unnecessary expenditures to improve productivity.

Addressing his first meeting with permanent secretaries in his capacity as the Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces at his Munhumutapa offices yesterday, President Mnangagwa said rebuilding of the national economy required urgent attention from the new Government.

“I am currently in the process of putting together a new Government structure, which should be essentially leaner,” he said.“This, of course, will entail merging of some line ministries in order to remove functional duplications, as well as contain unnecessary expenditures, so as to enhance productivity and efficient delivery of service.

“I want to assure you that no one will be laid off, except those who have reached retirement age. Those whose ministerial posts will be abolished will be re-skilled and reassigned to other areas in the public service. I am sure you appreciate that the rebuilding of our national economy and improvement of the livelihoods of all our citizens is both urgent and imperative.

“Our people have endured economic hardships for over two decades, and now expect this Government to turn things around, within the shortest time possible. Let us take advantage of the positive optimism among our people, ushered in by this new dispensation, and do our best.” President Mnangagwa said people had high hopes for his administration and public officials should adopt a high performance work ethic. He said focus should be on growing the economy.

“Our prime focus thus should be on the implementation of practical solutions to grow our economy, create jobs and boost the incomes of our people,” said President Mnangagwa.“My Government will have no tolerance for bureaucratic slothfulness, which is quick to brandish procedures as an excuse for stalling service delivery to the citizens, investors and other stakeholders. Our mantra should be peak performance, peak performance and peak performance.” President Mnangagwa said heads of ministries were key in the realisation of set goals.

“As heads of ministries, your role is supremely critical in the realisation of the aspirations of all our citizens and stakeholders,” he said. “I will certainly count on you for success in turning around the fortunes of our economy. Indeed, together we can do it.”

President Mnangagwa said his meeting with the permanent secretaries was one of the many interfaces he was having with various Government agencies for purposes of familiarisation and to provide general direction to be taken by his administration. In an interview with journalists after the meeting, Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda said President Mnangagwa was focused on reviving the economy. When asked when a new Cabinet was likely to be put in place, he said: “Maybe in two or three days time. The thrust is on the economy and that is why he says the Cabinet would be leaner and more focused.”

President Mnangagwa’s assumption of office as Zimbabwe’s second Executive President since independence in 1980 has been dubbed the dawn of a new era, as people expect a new economic trajectory and major policy shift from the previous administration of former President Cde Robert Mugabe. There are high expectations that much attention would be on the economy that has been affected by several nagging problems. Yesterday’s meeting was also attended by Dr Sibanda and his deputies, Chairperson of the Public Service Commission Dr Mariyawanda Nzuwah and the Commission’s secretary Ms Pretty Sunguro.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has granted a three-month moratorium within which individuals and corporates that externalised money and assets are expected to bring them back.
The amnesty will stretch from December 1 to February 28, 2018.

During the period, Government will neither ask questions nor prefer charges against those that will be repatriating back the money or assets.Non-compliant individuals and companies will be arrested and prosecuted in terms of the country’s laws.

In a statement yesterday, President Mnangagwa said activities linked to Operation Restore Legacy had helped uncover cases where huge sums of money and other assets were illegally externalised by certain individuals and corporates.

“Needless to say, such malpractices constitute a very serious economic crime against the people of Zimbabwe, which the Government of Zimbabwe will never condone,” said President Mnangagwa.
“As a first step towards the recovery of the illegally externalised funds and assets, the Government of Zimbabwe is gazetting a three-month moratorium within which those involved in the malpractice can bring back the funds and assets, with no questions being asked or charges preferred against them.

The period of this amnesty stretches from 1st December, 2017, to the end of February 2018. Affected persons who wish to comply with this directive should liaise with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe for necessary facilitation and accounting.”

The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces said it was advisable for those that had externalised funds to comply to avoid the “pain” and “ignominy” of being made to account through the legal system.

“Upon the expiry of the three-month window, Government will proceed to effect arrest of all those who would not have complied with this directive, and will ensure that they are prosecuted in terms of the country’s laws,” said President Mnangagwa.

“Those affected are thus encouraged to take advantage of the three-month moratorium to return the illegally externalised funds and assets, in order to avoid the pain and ignominy of being visited by the longer arm of the law.”

Central bank statistics indicate that an estimated $3 billion was externalised between 2015 and 2017 to countries such as Mauritius, in the Far East and Botswana, although the figure could be far much higher.

It is believed that of the $3 billion, about $1,8 billion was spirited away illegally, while the balance was expatriated through management fees, service fees, technical fees and royalties.The apex bank also estimates that the country lost on average $150 million monthly in 2015 to illicit financial flows.

The Bank Use and Promotion Act prohibits capital flight and money laundering.Corporate malfeasance and general indiscipline in the financial services sector, including externalisation, have been some of the factors blamed for cash shortages in the economy.

Local industry is bullish that efforts by the new administration to restore discipline in the market will be able to positively reset the economy.Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) president Mr Sifelani Jabangwe said if all the money that was externalised was repatriated, it would result in a surplus that would naturally restore the value of the bond note.

“When you look at the amounts involved ($3 billion) relative to our annual requirements, it means if this money finds its way back on the local market, it will result in a surplus,” he said.“Hopefully, now with the new dispensation, which has already seen the black market crashing and a correction of stock market prices, the market will return to normal.

Mr Jabangwe said there was renewed confidence and optimism in the market, and President Mnangagwa had to be given the opportunity to run with his agenda.Of late, the mining sector has also been caught up in allegations of externalising large amounts of money.

A recent academic study, conducted by Marko Kwaramba, senior lecturer at the University of Free State (SA); Nyasha Mahonye, senior lecturer at the University of Witwatersrand; and Leornard Mandishora, a researcher at the National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations, indicated that there was rampant misinvoicing, particularly for minerals such as diamonds, gold and nickel.

It concluded that in the 13-year period through 2013, export misinvoicing of diamonds – which experts say is often done for tax evasion and avoidance, money laundering, and quota avoidance – topped US$1,3 billion.

PRESIDENT-designate and Zanu-PF First Secretary Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa will today be sworn-in as the country’s Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces with several Sadc leaders here to witness the occasion.

The Herald Online gives you updates of this historic and important event. Stay logged in and be free to participate in the Disqus discussion below.

REPORTERS: Farirai Machivenyika, Nyemudzai Kakore, Simiso Mlevu; PROOFREADER: Clearance Munondo; PHOTOGRAPHER: Wilson Kakurira: ONLINE EDITOR: Happiness Chikwanha

9:40 – At the RG Mugabe International Airport, three Cabinet Ministers arrived early to welcome foreign dignitaries coming for the inauguration of incoming President Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa. The Ministers are Cdes Patrick Chinamasa, Kembo Mohadi and Lazarus Dokora.

9:50- First to arrive was South Africa’s Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services Siyabonga Cwele.

Other Cabinet Ministers  also here are Cde Oppah Muchinguri and Nyasha Chikwanya.

10:00- Botswana President Ian Khama is the first Head of State to arrive. He says he expects to strengthen relations with Zimbabwe and its new administration.
President Khama was followed by Zambia President Edgar Lungu.

President Lungu arrived in the company of former President Kenneth kaunda. President Lungu hails the  manner in which Zimbabwe conducted its transition, saying it shows the growth of democracy in Zimbabwe and the SADC region at large. Former Zambian President Rupiah Banda is also part of the delegation
10:15 – Namibian Vice President Nickey Iyambo arrives leading a delegation that include former  Presidents Sam Nujoma. Also just arriving is Mozambique President Felipe Nyusi who says Mozambique is with the people of Zimbabwe in this transition.

10:20 – At the venue of the event, the National Sports Stadium, Service Chiefs led by Commander of the Defence Force Dr Constantino Nyikadzino Guvheya Chiwenga have taken seats. They arrived shortly after the Mayor of the City of Harare, His Worship Benard Manyenyeni.

10:25 – All dignitaries have taken seats and are ready to welcome President elect, Hon Mnangagwa who is set to arrive shortly.

10:42- Amid cheers, the President elect, Hon Mnangagwa who is accompanied by his wife, Cde Auxillia makes grand entrance into the stadium.

10:50 -Botswana President lan Khama has just left the HICC heading to the venue of the inauguration.

10:51 – As the multitudes wait for the arrival of visiting Heads of States, Jah Prayzah is invited to the stage and he takes off with “Kutonga Kwaro” much to the amusement of the crowd.

1055 – Former Presidents of the Republic of Zambia, Cde Kenneth Kaunda and Rupia Banda are here to witness the inauguration of Zimbabwe’s Second Executive President, Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Zimbabwe’s first President after independence was the late Reverend Canaan Sodindo Banana. He was President at a time Cde RG Mugabe was Prime Minister with the latter assuming the Vice Presidency later. Cde RG tendered his resignation on November 21, 2017.

10:58 – His Excellency Hon Edgar Lungu has also arrived here at the National Sports Stadium.

11:01 – Also heading for the HICC are former Namibian President Sam Nujoma and the current Vice President Nickey Iyambo.

11:12 – Thunderous welcome for the President of Botswana, Ian Khama as he gets into the Stadium.

11:16 – Mozambique President Nyusi makes his way through the arena to join other Heads of State who are here for the inauguration of Cde ED Mnangagwa as Zimbabwe’s President following the resignation of Cde RG Mugabe on November 21, 2017.

 11:34 – Speaker of Parliament Advocate Mudenda calls upon Chief Justice Luke Malaba to call upon Incoming President to proceed and take Oath of Office.

11:39 – In Section 94 of the Constitution the Incoming President now takes Oath of Office.

He takes oath of office and commits to uphold the constitution, promote whatever protects Zimbabwe and oppose whatever harms it.

11:44 – Chief Justice Malaba adorns the new President, His Excellency President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa with the sash.

11:49 – Commander Defence Forces and Service Chiefs now pay compliments to the Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, His Excellency ED Mnangagwa.

11:52 – Commander Zimbabwe Defence Forces General Constantine Nyikadzino Guveya Chiwenga pays allegiance  to His Excellency President ED Mnangagwa.

He is followed by Commissioner General of the Police, Augustine Chihuri.

11:56 – The Master of Ceremony appeals for order as people express displeasure at Commissioner General Chihuri yelling, “Ngaaende! Ngaaende! (He must go! He must go!)

Commissioner General Paradzai Zimondi of the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services is next and soon after his allegiance wild cheers follow . . . a direct opposite of the case of Commissioner General Chihuri.

11:59 – Zimbabwe’s new First Lady Cde Auxillia Mnangagwa joins His Excellency President ED Mnangagwa at the podium to congratulate him and the two share a kiss . . .

12:00 -The National Anthem is now being sung followed by the gun salute. . .and a fly past of military jets.

12:07 – Parade Commander invites the President to inspect the Guard of Honour  accompanied by  Commander Defence Forces.

Meanwhile a new banner at Zanu-PF HQ  of President Emmerson Mnangagwa has just been erect .-Pic by Nyemudzai Kakore

Meanwhile a new banner at Zanu-PF HQ of President Emmerson Mnangagwa has just been erect .-Pic by Nyemudzai Kakore

12:39 – The guard of honour is marching past in slow and quick motion.

PRESIDENT MNANGAGWA’S INAUGURATION SPEECH

12:52 – I feel deeply humbled by the decision of Zanu-Pf party to nominate me to be the President and Commander-in-Chief  of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.

I admit that I hold no unique qualification that sets me apart from the rest of the citizenry.

President Mnangagwa pays attribute to outgoing president Cde RG Mugabe as a resolute leader who led the nation right from independence and says whatever his mistakes should not overshadow his immense contribution.

He says Cde Mugabe to him, remains a father and a mentor.

13:01 – President Mnangagwa recognizes the presence of Africa’s senior statesmen led by Dr Kenneth kaunda, Zambia’s founding President. Dr Kaunda has since retired.

13:02 – President Mnangagwa asserts that development will not be through speeches and as such he will hit the ground running.

He says although we can not change the past, there is however a lot that can be done today although not forgetting the past. However bygones will be bygones as we embrace each other in order to rebuild Zimbabwe, a great country.

13:03 – He says never again should Zimbabwe be placed in the conditions which have made the country unfavourable in some global sections.

13:04 – President Mnangagwa says he has no doubt that the country will be built from the strong foundation built by Cde RG Mugabe. He says the world should understand that the principle of repossessing our land is important.

13:06 – He therefore challenges the land beneficiaries to utilize the land made available to them in order to defeat hunger.

He says Gvt will capacitate the Land Commission to deal with all outstanding land issues. He says former land owners will be compensated according to the laws of the country.

13:08 – President Mnangagwa commits that the upcoming 2018 elections will be held as scheduled and democratically.

13;10 – He says Zim subscribes to the principle that all people are equal in accordance with UN statutes.

He says his goal is to run an administration that recognizes the strength across the country’s political divide.

13:12 – He says the country’s economic policies will be hinged on agriculture in a way that would be expected to enhance job creation.

He also says key principles will be pursued in order to attract foreign direct investment as Zimbabwe seeks to move steps up.

13:14 – The economic policies to be pursued will incorporate elements of market economy.

The bottom line is an economy which is firm on its feet in order to achieve job creation and development.

The liquidity challenges prevailing in the country will be tackled head-on.

13:16 – Act s of corruption must stop! – asserts President Mnangagwa.

Where these occur swift justice mus follow. We have to aspire to be a clean nation.

To the civil servants President Mnangagwa says it must not be business as usual. Gone are the days of absenteeism.

13:18 -A new culture must now inform our daily conduct.

13:21 -Gvt will ensure relaxation of exports statutes.

He says Gvt will also ensure policies that encourage a new banking culture based on savings and confidence in the banking system.

13:22 – Government will also ensure security and safety for all citizens.

13:23 – He says SADC is home to Zimbabwe as we also acknowledge that we belong to the bigger house of the African Union.

13:24 – He says Zimbabwe has managed to maintain good relations with the global family, but Government will immediately start on a journey to reengage with those who have punished us through sanctions.

13:26 – In the global world, no nation can survive in isolation. Whatever differences that existed with those that imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe should pave way for a new beginning.

But of course, our resources remain ours. We remain committees to honoring debts.

“All foreign investment will be safe in Zimbabwe,” asserts President Mnangagwa.

He says Zimbabwe will contribute to the well being of the global political order through the United Nations. Zimbabwe will continue to contribute to the international peace and security within the framework of the UN.

13:30 -President Mnangagwa promises that he will serve everyone and all who consider Zimbabwe their home and encourages all people remain peaceful even as we move into the election period. The Voice of the people is the voice of God.

The newly sworn in President of Zimbabwe, His Excellency President Emmerson Mnangagwa finishes his inauguration speech amid cheers.

HIGHLIGHTS

-President Mnangagwa paid tribute to the Former President RG Mugabe for leading the country through the formative years after independence up to now

- Zimbabwe to reengage with the outside world including those that imposed sanctions following the country’s land reform programme

- Land beneficiaries should take advantage of government’s policies to utilize their plots and ensure food security

- To the civil servants, the days of business as usual are over as Zimbabwe needs to hit the ground running

- All foreign direct investments will be safe in Zimbabwe

- Peace and security for all is of paramount importance as Zimbabwe moves a step further in its history.

GOVERNMENT has put in place measures to control soya bean imports to create a market for local producers of the raw material widely used in the production of edible oils.

The move, which took effect last week, comes after local cooking oil manufacturers started shunning produce from local farmers opting to buy cheaper imported soya bean.

Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Dr Joseph Made said Government would not watch while cooking oil manufacturers struggled to get foreign currency to buy soya beans from outside when the local farmers were producing the raw material.

“We have moved to limit the importation of soya beans into the country to cater for our local farmers who have the same product, if not better quality than imported soya. We have engaged the Industry and Commerce Ministry to reduce soya beans import permits to ensure cooking oil manufacturers buy for the local farmers,” Dr Made said.

He said those few who could get import licences would need strong a case since there was need to exhaust the local raw material first before importing was considered an option.

“We do not have the foreign exchange to import some goods, which we have internally. We need to reserve it for the importation of critical raw materials such as those used in fertiliser manufacturing. The cooking oil manufacturers can always come to the Grain Marketing Board to purchase soya beans if accessing it from the farmers proves difficult,” he said.

Government is buying soya beans for $500 per tonne whereas the imported product is selling for $370/t. Dr Made acknowledged that Zimbabwe had not produced enough soya beans this year, but said Government wanted the available crop to be exhausted before opting for imports.

Dr Made said soya would be included under the Command Agriculture programme targeting areas where the crop is commonly grown. Soya beans are predominantly grown in Hurungwe, Shamva and Chinhoyi. He said if the leguminous crop was farmed properly, Zimbabwe would end up exporting edible oils.

1529: The official proceedings have come to an end here and we also conclude our updates. Thank you for joining us.

1522: Matabeleland North Resident Minister Cde Mathema is giving vote of thanks. He thanks the then President Mugabe and Amai for taking time off their busy schedule to visit the province.

1520: The Youth League has presented the First Family with a portrait of the then President Mugabe and his colleague, the late Vice President John Nkomo.

1516: The then President Mugabe says Matabeleland North has created a name for itself as a province.

“Well done Mat North. Let other provinces learn. To those who have hosted the rallies, keep your lessons. Phambili ngeMat North Province. This is the province of John Nkomo and bequeathed to us that if you want unity, it must begin with you,” he says before asking party supporters to repeat the statement after him.

His Excellency has finished giving his address.

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1514: He says violence is not Zanu PF mode.

“I hear there are groups that are moving around beating people. No, that is not our way of doing of things. If you see them, push them off the road and give them the punishment they deserve. Do not even wait for the police to come. We can not have criminals spoiling our good name.”

1512: The then President Mugabe says usually, universities have two groups, those who are Pro-Zanu PF and those who are pro-opposition.

“But the opposition are zero parties. They have nothing to offer. People need to check what are the proposals on offer for the nation are in the opposition. There is nothing there. They lack leadership and mobilisation skills.”

1508: “We are going towards elections, province by province, are they ready for elections? Those youths who were 16 and 17 during last elections, have they registered to vote this coming elections?

“Our institutions, the universities have lots of young people, let us not ignore them. VaChipanga, there is another assignment for you.”

1505: “I want our women to recognise what the youths have done. You are the mothers of youths. But in the Women’s League, are we as united as the youths are? BoBaba, whether you are in the central committee or in the politburo, are you as united as your children are? If not, why not? Let us be united, the youths have given us reason to be.”

16

1502: “People must develop that sense of loyalty but first and foremost, we must ensure we are educated.  Skills come after elementary and secondary education. As such, we must educate children without fail.”

1459: “I want to appeal to those in the diaspora to come back and work in areas like mining, commerce, industry and infrastructure. I don’t see why they can’t get the same treatment in terms of treatment if that is what is attracting them elsewhere.”

President says Zimbabweans must be impelled by the love of their own country and serve it.

1457: He has encouraged Zimbabweans to be entrepreneurs especially in the technology sector.

“Let us not scramble to be employees of a white man. Let us be our own employers. I want to see a black man forming a company and hiring his own people.

Perhaps it’s coming but I believe it is belated.

1453: “Zimbabwe is a blessed country that it is endowed with natural resources like minerals and plenty timber. It is good that more and more minerals are being exposed to the surface and locals will continue to exploit.”

1451: The then President Mugabe says due to shortage of drinking water, animals became so daring. They would visit our homes as uninvited guests. They would even eat our food we intend to use to feed ourselves. But we are happy because as things stand, the animals will not bother us.

“The soils are wet and there is abundant water on the land. We are sure if the situation is like that, there will be evaporation and more rains will come. We will continue to produce more and once again become the bread basket for Africa.”

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1449: The then President Mugabe thanks farmers for responding to the call to join Command Agriculture programme.

“This year, we are all happier. We tried our best by combining efforts. Labour and inputs.  We are happy, command Agriculture has produced massive, massive tonnes of maize. Even here, there is plenty maize. Every province, it is the same. So, akulamuntu ozalamba. We are not going to import maize anymore, I think, for the next year or so.”

1443: “I want to thank you again, even though you are young, for teaching us as elders, that you can raise crowds and are united. This is a phenomenon that the elders must grasp and learn. Thank you youths, for your respect and confidence in me. Let me say, I also respect you.

“I want to say to those of us who are leaders, look at what the youths are able to do. No fights among them. They are firmly United. They could not have achieved this without unity.  They have no factions, and no desire at the moment to be successors, when the President is still there. The youths are saying NO. The women are saying NO. The majority of the people are saying NO. Who then is saying YES? Ngubani?”  He says with light laughter.

1437: ”It doesn’t matter, izibongo zinengi/surnames are too many but we are bound by one surname. We are Zimbabweans.  This is what umdala wethu meant, we must be together. Our children must inherit unity as something we bequeath to them. When we die, they will respect our graves. Not as graves, but as places where those who have left them are laid.”

He says youths will feel compelled to carry forward the torch and protect the ethos set by the elderly generation. President Mugabe thanks the youth league for recognising that they are the leaders of tomorrow.

“Of course you are leaders, but you are young, the future belongs to you.”

1435: The then President Mugabe says the control and ownership of the land go together. He has paid tribute to the youth and Women’s League for staying United. The youth and Women’s League are all propelled by that principle that the country must remain ours. So, today, province by province sibantu banye/we are one.

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1431: ”We must defend our land. Those virtues and those objectives we have about ourselves. The development objectives depend, first and foremost on having land.”

The then resident Mugabe says we need to pride ourselves as sovereign owners of the country called Zimbabwe saying “if we are to prosper as individuals, family or country, unity, unity and more unity is required.”

It can not be achieved by any of us as individuals. It should be WE together. We together can defend our country and conquer the enemy.

1425: One thing that umdala wethu (late VP Joshua Nkomo) told me when he was in hospital, it was unity. Ukubambana. He told me don’t allow our nation to be divided. The other thing was ilizwe lethu. Our land.  Why are these things important? Once upon a time, our land was taken away from us. We lost wealth. We lost our belongings.

It is important that we take ownership of our land, not as servants of the white man but we must own it to produce for ourselves, build our houses and rule ourselves on it as we beat our chest saying Lilizwe lethu/this is our country.

1422: ”Here I have come but what have I come for? What is it that you want me to say? My heart is overwhelmed by your love and confidence in me. It is overwhelmed by your belief in me. In other words, ah, I am your your President. In other words, I am happy, I jump about. If I can’t do it with my legs, I will do it with my heart.  I jump about because we are united. I have the followers. Not just two followers like MDCs. It is the whole country. I pray that this love sticks us together.”

1418: ”But they have have followed up again now with interface rallies. Each and every province we have gone to, the phenomenon is the same. Massive people come out of their houses, from far far. Ordinary people are coming to meet their President.  I think this is the fourth now and the successes are just the same. I want to thank you. Ngiyalibingelela kakhulu.”

1416: ”That one million men march, drew, I want to believe, more than a million people. We shall never forget that historic achievement by our youth and of course since they are our youths, it was an achievement by our party, Zanu PF.

“We want to thank them for that endeavour which others thought would be a failure.”

1412: The then President Mugabe pays homage to Chief Mabhikwa whose jurisdiction Lupane falls under.

“We are here at the invitation by once again our youth league as led by Cde Chipanga. We don’t forget the massive, mammoth gathering organised by the youth when they organised each other to gather in Harare and interact with the President and thank him for the work he had done during the short period he was AU and SADC chairman

1408: The then President Mugabe is now addressing the gathering. He chants phambili ngokulima, phambili ngokubambana and Phansi ngeMDC before making salutations.

Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Defence Minister Dr Sydney Sekeramayi

The then Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Defence Minister Dr Sydney Sekeramayi

1404: Dr Mugabe has finished her address. Cde Chipanga has now invited President Mugabe to the podium and Jah Prayzah’s hit “Mdara Achauya”, as has become the norm, is now being played.

1358: Amai Mugabe says the Bulawayo Kraal Project has the potential to be the provider of maize seed nationally. This, she says will boost employment levels in the province.

“I will be back in August to check progress in Binga.”

1355: Amai Mugabe says she came to the province in 2015 for the Bulawayo Kraal Project and is happy to announce that the project has 100 hectares of maize at the moment.

1350: “Matabeleland North is a vast province which is sparsely populated. I am amazed at how you managed to mobilise all these people to come here for the meeting.”

VP Phelekezela Mphoko speaks to Cde Innocent Hamandishe

VP Phelekezela Mphoko speaks to Cde Innocent Hamandishe

1347: Cde Chipanga says as youths, they stand guided by Women’s League and more importantly Amai Mugabe. He invites the First Lady to make an address.

As Amai Mugabe takes to the podium, she sings Baba Hlala la uzukhokhobe. She thanks the youth league for organising interface rallies.

1346: Youth League Secretary has also called to order ZICOSU for picking up fights with ministers. He has encouraged the students body to seek audience with their minister adding that if they want to be part of Zanu PF, they ought to behave.

1345: Cde Chipanga has encouraged youths to desist from abusing social media.  He has castigated COZWA for perpetrating violence. He says there is a video of COZWA members doing rounds on social media where they are beating people.

1341: “We appeal to the Ministry of Local Government to speed up the construction of housing for Government employees so that they work from here.”

1339: He has bemoaned lack of development in the province saying as youths they have since discovered that most head of government departments in the province stay in Bulawayo.

1337: “We wonder what parastatals are doing? We know they exist because people are getting paid. We know they exist because of the seminars they are holding.

It is our humble suggestion Your Excellency that each minister tells us how many parastatals did she or he resuscitate.”

1333: The Secretary for Youth League thanks the Ministry of Information Communication Technology for working tirelessly setting up information communication centres.

1332: According to Cde Chipanga, Mat North is second province after Mashonaland East to construct their own party offices.

“This means Zanu PF is here to stay in Matabeleland North Mr President.”

1328: Cde Chipanga says Matabeleland North is the only united province in the party.

“In other provinces, there is bickering but in Matabeleland North, you never hear anything like that.

“Mr President, this is one province which is fully behind you. They are 120 percent into it.”

President Mugabe and Amai Mugabe arrive.

The then President Mugabe and Amai Mugabe arrive.

1320: School children from Kamativi Primary school who have been enrolled to the National Youth Service Programs ask for permission to make displays for President Mugabe.  According to Cde Hamandishe, the motive behind introducing primary schools national youth service is to catch them young.

“As youth league, we believe if we catch them this young, they will never sellout.”

1314: “Young people in this province are united behind you. We thank you President Mugabe for paying homage to us. The numbers here are indicative of the commitment by young people and support you have in Matabeleland North,” he says as he concludes his speech.

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1311: Cde Mbongeni Dube is back to the podium to give his remarks. He welcomes party supporters in Matabeleland North. He describes this province is blessed with natural resources.

“As youths, we declare that you are our candidate in the coming elections. We are going to support you for the rest of your life.

1303:  Cde Hamandishe has invited Secretary for Youth Affairs Cde Kudzanayi Chipanga to introduce Politburo members.

1256: Matabeleland North Youth League Chairperson, Cde Mbongeni Dube introduces party members who assisted the Youth League in organising the interface rally. He singles a Cde Mlilo from the Women’s League, Matabeleland North provincial chairperson Cde Richard Moyo, War Veterans leader Cde Mguni and Central Committee members represented by Cde Fatti Mpofu.

Director of Ceremonies, Cde Innocent Hamandishe says as youth league they have been working closely with the Ministry of Youth and Higher and Tertiary Education because that is where most youths are found. He invites Professor Moyo and Cde Zhuwao to make a slogan.  Minister Mathema has also been invited to greet people who have thronged his province.

1250: Florence Khumalo who is standing in for Chief Mabhikwa welcomes Zanu PF members to the area. She sings a traditional welcoming song.

1245: The National Anthem is now being sung.

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1243: Already standing at the VIP tent are senior party officials who include the two VPs, Dr Sydney Sekeramayi, Advocate Jacob Mudenda, Dr Joseph Made, Professor Jonathan Moyo and Cde Tshinga Dube. Zanu PF Secretary for Administration Dr Ignatius Chombo and National Political Commissar Cde Saviour Kasukuwere are here too.

1238: The then President Mugabe has arrived here much to the amusement of the crowd. As he moves around in a police Defender vehicle greeting party supporters, he waves the party flag together with the first Lady, Amai Grace Mugabe. Party supporters can not contain their excitement. They shout Gushungo, waving back Zanu PF flags at His Excellency.

1226: VPs Cde Mphoko and Mnangagwa have arrived at the rally venue.

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1150: The then President Mugabe has arrived at the Community Information Centre for the official opening

1135: The two Vice Presidents, Cdes Phelekezela Mphoko and Emmerson Mnangagwa are now at the Community Information Centre formerly known as Lupane post office. They are now waiting for President Mugabe who is set to commission the resource centre.  The centre is expected to boost access to information to remote areas.

1130: From the briefing, President Mugabe is expected to officially open a Community Information Centre here in the provincial capital.

1126: Some of the artists present here are Magwaza and Madlela Sikhobokhobo of Ngamnanka uSaMamo hit.

Magwaza and his band

Magwaza and his band

1118: The then President Mugabe has landed at LSU grounds and is going for a briefing shortly. Meanwhile, an assortment of artists has been entertaining people as they wait for the interaction with the President.

Zanu-PF supporters have come in their thousands.

Zanu-PF supporters have come in their thousands.

1116: The sound of planes hovering above multitude of party supporters invites excitement as signalled by cheers from the crowd.

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1110: The then President Mugabe is arriving shortly at Lupane State University (LSU) where he is expected to have a briefing with Matabeleland North party leadership.

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1100: The otherwise cold month of July has warmed up to the multitudes of Zanu PF supporters who have thronged the Matabeleland North capital, Lupane for an interactive meeting with the then President Robert Mugabe.

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