Leonard Ncube Victoria Falls Reporter
ONE of the liberation struggle fighters, Cde Jane Ngwenya, has implored the government to come up with packages for locals to visit tourist centres countrywide so they enjoy the fruits of independence. The former Labour, Manpower Planning and Social Welfare Deputy Minister, who turns 81 in June this year, said the protracted war of liberation was fought so that Zimbabweans could enjoy and benefit from their natural resources.
She said this after a five-day tour of the places of interest in and around Victoria Falls.
Cde Ngwenya said she was happy that the government had come up with a number of pro-people initiatives but said more needs to be done to ensure people have access to resources.
The sentiments by the former Zapu National Executive Council member come at a time when there are calls for the slashing of access fees to resort areas for locals.
Locals are arguing that entry fees to places of interest are not affordable to the majority of people.
“I came here Tuesday and I’ve visited a number of areas and done some tour activities. I’ve never been a tourist before and I went for a boat cruise. I was happy to see a crocodile which is my totem.
“They took me to Chobe in Botswana where we had a chance to get to the border we share with Zambia and Namibia and we saw a hippo with a very ‘young baby’. Today we went to the Big Tree, the Rainforest and the Victoria Falls Bridge. I was so impressed,” said Cde Ngwenya.
She said in the past she had only visited Victoria Falls during business assignments such as attending conferences. There was no time for tour activities.
“This time I came as a tourist and I saw a lot of things which I used to just read about,” she said.
Cde Ngwenya implored the government to ensure that its citizens enjoy the fruits of independence.
“When we went to war we were fighting for the children of Zimbabwe to enjoy independence and their heritage. I know there are economic challenges but it’s sad that the majority of Zimbabweans have never been to these resort areas. The little they know comes from foreign tourists.
“During the colonial era whites would drive blacks out of places of interest. It’s my wish that people be given an opportunity to visit these areas so that they experience the beauty of our country,” she said.
The former freedom fighter, who now lives at Coronation Old People’s Home in Bulawayo, was treated to a family welcome by Victoria Falls Mayor Councillor, Sifiso Mpofu, Town Clerk Christopher Dube, Macro-Economic and Investment Promotion Minister, Obert Mpofu, among others.