Mat South to be turned into green belt, says Chiwenga

Mat South to be turned into green belt, says Chiwenga
Published: 12 July 2018
The Zanu-PF Government is working on programmes and projects meant to improve the people's lives and this includes the project to transform Beitbridge and its environs into a green belt.

Vice President General Constantino Chiwenga (Retired) said this yesterday while addressing thousands of people in Zhovhe, Beitbridge West after touring Zhove Dam.

He said at least 10 000 hectares of land had been set aside for irrigation using water from the dam and of this, 2 500 ha will be for hotculture production.

"It's no longer politics for lying, people saying that they will build spaghetti roads they will do this and that no no . . . We want to talk about things that will happen. We don't want to be lying to each other, the time for lying is over that's why when we say that this will happen it will definitely happen.

"One of the reasons why I came here is because of agriculture, we have Zhovhe dam, we have seen that upstream and down steam people are farming.

There is wildlife around this area that has to be looked after and not shot willy-nilly," said VP Chiwenga.

He said Government would not wait for the elections to implement development projects.

"We want to open a canal from here in Zhovhe to Beitbridge so that Beitbridge gets water. We want at least 10 000 hectares to be put under irrigation drawing water from the canal and so far we have prepared 2 500 hectares to grow citrus fruits such as oranges, naartjies and lemons and all these will be exported," said VP Chiwenga.

He said  farmers in the area should venture into horticulture and export their produce to earn foreign currency given that there is abundant water from Zhovhe Dam.

"Given the marginal rainfall received in this area, we will under Command Agriculture prioritise mass production of small grains such as rapoko, wheat, sorghum and millet which do not require a lot of rain. We will be producing these crops at higher scale. We are not saying eat inyawuthi or amabele but these are crops that are in high demand in a number of countries so you will take them to the local GMB in exchange for grain that you want," said Chiwenga

He said Government was working on installing centre pivots in each district and ensure a minimum of 200 hectares is put under irrigation."We want water from these dams to transform Matabeleland South province into a green belt as farmers cultivate crops throughout the year. We can also use the water to irrigate pastures for our livestock," he said.

VP Chiwenga said a committee comprising the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate Change, Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement Air Chief Marshal Perrance Shiri (retired), Matabeleland South Minister of State, Cde  Abednico Ncube, Members of Parliament and councillors would soon visit the area to fast-track wildlife conservation and irrigation projects

"Low rainfall patterns in this area should not deter productivity. We now have equipment that drills 1 000m deep boreholes so people have water even during drought. We will be drilling these boreholes throughout the country especially in areas where there are perennial water problems," said VP Chiwenga.

He said tarring of strategic roads was being given priority by the new dispensation.

Meanwhile, addressing party supporters at Ntepe High School ground yesterday, VP Chiwenga said Government had resolved to construct more schools for Gwanda communities.

"We realised that there a handful of schools in this side of the country which means our children in Matabeleland South are not fully benefiting from STEM. We are also going to revive the Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM) to help orphans and other vulnerable children," said Chiwenga.

He said he was concerned that schools in the area were not teaching STEM subjects due to lack of laboratories and teachers.

VP Chiwenga urged the Zhovhe people to vote for Zanu-PF presidential candidate Mnangagwa as well as the party candidates for the National Assembly and councillors.

- chronicle
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