From George Maponga in Gutu
The national clean-up campaign has made a significant impact towards fostering a culture of cleanliness among citizens.
This was said by President Mnangagwa during the clean-up exercise, which was attended by hundreds of people at Mpandawana in Gutu yesterday.
The President took the campaign against litter to the rural areas and led the cleaning of Mpandawana Bus Terminus.
People ululated as he swept, and he was praised by many of those who attended.
President Mnangagwa used a broom to gather the litter and later placed it in bins.
Speaking after leading a two-hour cleaning programme, President Mnangagwa commended the strides made so far in inculcating a culture of cleanliness.
He challenged Zimbabweans to end the scourge of litter saying the fight against litter should start at every household.
“We hope that the clean-up exercise will become a daily habit and I am very happy that Samora Machel Street in Harare is now very clean and people have even put flowers along the street, something that started after we initiated the clean-up campaign.
“Even visitors who come to the city will commend Samora Machel Street and say ‘what a clean city this is’ and that is what we want,” said the President.
Taking cleanliness to the rural areas, said President Mnangagwa, is a demonstration of seriousness in the fight against litter by Government.
About 65 percent of Zimbabweans live in rural areas, hence the decision to move to the areas.
The President said the Second Republic valued cleanliness, as evidenced by all top Government officials who led the clean-up campaigns in various remote parts of the country yesterday.
He challenged both rural and urban local authorities to develop waste management policies to tame the scourge of litter.
“In rural areas in particular, putting in place waste management policy is very important because every single day there is a family that throws away litter,” he said.
The President urged all leaders, from village heads and chiefs to encourage cleanliness, starting with individual homes.
“I will, in future, be making unannounced visits to homes countrywide to check on hygiene standards there. I don’t want to find a home with cockroaches.
“A home that has cockroaches shows that people staying there are not tidy; they don’t clean their homes and wash their utensils. Smartness should start in the home,” said President Mnangagwa.
The President commended the Mpandawana community for keeping their place clean.
He went down memory lane and narrated the challenges encountered during the liberation war when fighters rarely washed their clothes, forcing some of them to burn them to control lice.
President Mnangagwa advised people to drink water from clean sources or treat it before drinking.
Public transport operators were challenged to have litter bins in their vehicles to prevent the indiscriminate throwing of litter through windows.
Further, he called on people to plant fruit trees at their homes and build vegetable gardens, so that they live healthy lives.
Environment, Climate Change, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Nqobizitha Mangaliso Ndlovu commended President Mnangagwa for conceiving clean-up campaigns.
He added that the President’s decision to lead from the front demonstrates servant leadership, and called on everyone to the cleanliness drive.
Masvingo Minister of State Ezra Chadzamira said the province was ahead in implementing the clean-up campaign, with many prominent institutions adopting streets and places, which they keep clean.
Cabinet ministers among them, Owen Ncube (State Security), Professor Amon Murwira (Higher and Tertiary Education), Dr Obadiah Moyo (Health and Child Care) and Zanu-PF politburo members Cdes Sydney Sekeramayi, Mike Bimha, Josaya Hungwe, Cde Engelbert Rugeje and Lovemore Matuke, traditional leader, Chief Gutu, joined the President during the clean-up.
Meanwhile, President Mnangagwa commissioned the $5 million project to upgrade and modernise Gutu Rural Hospital in Mpandawana Town.
The development is expected to improve the health delivery system in line with the Government’s Vision 2030 of an upper middle-class society.
The project, which saw the equipping and upgrading of a laundry wing and mortuary at Gutu Rural Hospital, together with the launch of an albino assistance scheme, are part of long-term plans to transform the health institution into a district hospital.
Construction of a maternity wing is underway, with commissioning of the facility set for October this year.
One of the country’s leading platinum miners, Zimplats, financed the mortuary, laundry and albino assistance projects as part of its community responsibility programme.
The new mortuary has a capacity to carry six bodies.
It was fitted with new equipment while the laundry wing now has two washing machines and an ironing room, fitted with all the requisite materials.
Zimplats donated 500 bottles of sunscreen and lip balm together with 50 hats for those living with albinism.
The company further pledged to provide monthly rations for those that register at the hospital.
Gutu Network Development, founded by sons and daughters from the district, is financing the construction of the maternity wing.
There is no Government-run district hospital in the area with all referral cases being handled at Gutu Mission, which is run by the Reformed Church in Zimbabwe.
Speaking after commissioning the projects, President Mnangagwa said the development dovetailed with his administration’s thrust to promote cleanliness. He praised the projects at Gutu Rural Hospital, which he said bear testimony to the success of public private partnerships.
The President commended Zimplats for its gesture, and challenged the platinum miner to replicate the programme across the country.
“The duty to provide everything that has been done here is the duty of Government. It is our duty, yes, but we want to congratulate those who have come forward and render assistance,” he said.
“I want to urge you (Zimplats) to extend this hand to other provinces in the country. You must only come back here for other projects after you have first done something for other provinces that have not yet benefited from your good gestures.”