JUST as the African Development Bank (AfDB) was pledging US$600 million for Bulawayo’s major infrastructural developmental projects on Wednesday, President Mnangagwa was launching the National Disability and the Labour Migration Policies in Harare where he said attainment of an upper middle-income society as envisaged by Vision 2030 requires the contribution of everyone in society.
It is clear that things are happening under the Second Republic. The pledge by the AfDB, in particular, proves that confidence in President Mnangagwa’s Government is growing and the reengagement and rapprochement foreign policy thrust is gaining currency.
Already, the AfDB is funding three major projects in the city which include the Bulawayo Water and Sewerage Services Improvement Project (BWSSIP) to the tune of US$33 million, the US$2 million Beef and Leather Project as well as US$22 million for the ZimFund Emergency Power Infrastructure Rehabilitation Projects Phase II.
Bulawayo is not being left behind as the country strives towards Vision 2030.
In the attainment of this vision, no one is being left behind, President Mnangagwa said while launching the National Disability and the Labour Migration Policies.
The two policies are part of Government efforts to ensure inclusivity.
The National Disability Policy is a culmination of consultations between Government and representatives of persons with disabilities that began when the President met them in 2018 to ensure that disability programmes were mainstreamed in Government institutions and activities as required by Section 222 of the Constitution.
The Labour Migration Policy was crafted to enhance the contribution of Zimbabwe’s Diaspora and migrant workers to the country’s development.
The two policies are critical to Bulawayo which has a growing population of differently abled persons as well as Diaspora and migrant workers.
These are indeed exciting times for Bulawayo. The President has shown his commitment in developing the city and his national policies are not leaving Bulawayo behind.
In February, President Mnangagwa made history by being the only leader to fulfill the promise of bringing water to Bulawayo from the Zambezi. The project had been in the pipeline since 1912 but during the President’s short reign, the Gwayi-Shangani Dam project will be completed in December this year with the 245km pipeline that connects the dam to Bulawayo set to be completed in 2022.
The project – which the President said will be completed during his lifetime – involves various phases which include the construction of the Gwayi-Shangani Dam, the construction of a pipeline from the dam to Bulawayo and another pipeline which will draw water from the Zambezi River.
At the beginning of this month, the President was in Bulawayo yet again, this time to officially open the Bulawayo Arts Festival (Baf) and launch the Heritage Corridor in the city, where he toured the Inxwala Grounds, the Hanging Tree, Dr Joshua Nkomo’s Statue, St Mary’s Basilica, Joshua Nkomo Museum and the Natural History Museum.
Next month, the President returns to the City of Kings to open the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair, the country’s premier international trade and investment showcase, which did not happen last year as a result of Covid-19.
The 61st edition of the ZITF will run from July 20 to 23 under the theme: “The New Normal for Business and Industry: Realities and Opportunities,” and will be held in accordance with national and World Health Organisation Covid-19 prevention measures.
And even after ZITF, the president will continue to support Bulawayo and bring about economic development.
But in order for all that the President is doing for the city to work, everyone has to contribute and play their part. We urge the people of Bulawayo to stand tall and take ownership of all these projects in the city.
Bulawayo is a lion about to roar, about to announce its arrival in the major league.