By A Correspondent- The ruling party Zanu-PF’s 19th National People’s Conference kicks off at Chipadze Stadium in Bindura, Mashonaland Central province tomorrow, with a number of high-level engagements expected to dominate the four-day programme which runs up to Saturday.
The National People’s Conference is being held in a hybrid format for the first time in the history of Zanu-PF due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which saw last year’s calendar event being suspended.
The party’s Politburo meeting will be held at the main venue while delegates from the provinces are expected to follow the main proceedings at Chipadze Stadium virtually.
In line with Covid-19 health regulations, delegates are expected to produce their valid Covid-19 vaccination certificates before accreditation.
In Bulawayo, 101 delegates will gather at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) Hall 2 where they will follow the virtual proceedings from the main venue.
Other provinces will also congregate at selected venues where they will follow proceedings.
Bulawayo yesterday joined the rest of the country in marching against sanctions
The annual party indaba takes place at a time when the Government under the Second Republic led by President Mnangagwa is rolling out a number of initiatives to revive the economy as part of a transformative drive towards an upper middle-income economy by 2030.
In an interview yesterday, Zanu-PF acting spokesperson Mike Bimha said it was all systems go following the last meeting on preparations yesterday.
“We are almost ready for the indaba and various sub-committees today submitted their reports to the national chairperson Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri. She was quite happy with the amount of effort that has been put by the sub-committees to make sure that the conference is a success,” he said.
“With the reports that we got, it is quite clear that we will have a successful conference. The various provinces are ready with all the materials and we believe that the connectivity will operate as expected.”
Bimha said the main venue was mainly for the Politburo members who are less than 100, including some Government ministers.
“The conference is officially starting on Wednesday with the Politburo meeting while the Central Committee will be on Thursday,” he said.
Bimha said President Mnangagwa will officially address delegates on Friday.
The conference will discuss, among other issues, the state of the party, state of the economy, food security and nutrition, social services and poverty eradication, macroeconomic stability and reengagement, infrastructure development and utilities as well as value addition and beneficiation.
The annual Indaba is coming at a time the country has embarked on rapid modernisation in terms of infrastructure development, industrialisation and economic growth in line with President Mnangagwa’s vision for an upper middle-income economy by 2030.
Consistent with the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) and the country’s devolution thrust, the Government is making sure that development leaves no one behind.
Infrastructure development and rehabilitation, a key pillar in the economy in terms of the NDS1, is receiving increased attention under the Second Republic, with several key projects being implemented across the country.
Some of the notable projects being undertaken by the Government include the construction of Lake Gwayi-Shangani in Hwange district, Matabeleland North, Tuli-Manyange Dam in Ntalale in Gwanda district, Matabeleland South, the revamping of Beitbridge Border Post and dualisation, upgrading and tolling of the Beitbridge-Harare-Chirundu highway.
The Lake Gwayi-Shangani project is a major component of the National Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project (NMZWP), which upon completion in December, is expected to provide a permanent water solution for Bulawayo and Matabeleland region.
Modernisation of the Beitbridge Border Post is in line with Vision 2030 of attaining an upper middle-income economy, and is one of the key projects being undertaken by the Government to promote the ease of doing business and trade facilitation.
The Government is also undertaking the Robert Mugabe International Airport upgrade and the US$1,5 billion Hwange Units 7 and 8 expansion as well as the Hwange Power Station units 1-6 upgrade.
The ongoing Emergency Roads Rehabilitation Programme 2 (ERPP2) launched by President Mnangagwa in response to the damaged road network throughout the country as well as devolution funding, have transformed key infrastructure in both urban and rural areas.
Road rehabilitation is a key enabler in transforming Zimbabwe into an upper middle-income economy by 2030.
The economy is on a recovery trajectory and for the first time in many years, the country exhibited higher resilience to recent unforeseen shocks, including the latest outbreak of Covid-19.
Anchored on the successful 2020/21 rainfall season, higher international mineral commodity prices and a stable macro-economic environment, Zimbabwe’s enhanced resilience to prevailing shocks has it implementing a number of development projects despite the many competing priorities.
Domestic GDP growth for the year 2021 is projected to remain strong at 7,8 percent, slightly above the 2021 National Budget growth forecast of 7,4 percent
This will be mainly driven by recovery in the agriculture sector, which recorded a bumper harvest in the last season, and is set to grow by to 34 percent.
The good harvest realised by Zimbabwe from the last farming season will slash the import bill by US$300 million.
The recent success in food production indicate that Zimbabwe is on course to achieve the US$8,2 billion revenue from agriculture by 2025 under the Agriculture and Food Systems Transformation Strategy.
Agriculture and mining sectors are expected to collectively contribute US$20 billion to the economy in a few years’ time.
Due to continuing fiscal support measures, higher growth rates are projected in agriculture, electricity generation, accommodation and food services as well as financial services.
The fiscal and monetary consolidation measures being implemented by Government have firmly anchored inflation expectations as shown by a significant decline in inflation from 837,5 percent in July last year to 106,6 percent in June 2021.
The country’s annual inflation stood at 51,55 percent for the month of September 2021.
In recent months, the country’s annual inflation has been slowing down as monetary authorities projected a rate below 25 percent by year-end.
Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) statistics show that there has also been a steady performance of the mining sector, coupled with noticeable recovery in the manufacturing sector whose capacity utilisation rose from 36 percent in 2019 to 47 percent last year and 54 percent in the second quarter of 2021.
The strong economic recovery has also been attributed to the comprehensive reform drive being undertaken by the Government.-statemedia