COMMENT: Jinjika: President walks the talk on national development
THE transformation of the Jinjika community in Mangwe, Matabeleland South is testimony to the impact of President Mnangagwa’s philosophy of leaving no one and no place behind in the nation’s developmental trajectory.
In December 2021, a new chapter was opened when President Mnangagwa visited the area to launch the Sekusile Makorokoro Presidential Horticulture Programme.
That, the once remote and neglected area was selected to pilot the programme, to be replicated all over the country, shows that the President walking the talk in leapfrogging previously marginalised areas towards inclusive development in the country.
Under the Presidential Rural Development Scheme, Government will drill and equip one borehole in each of the country’s 35 000 villages.
The programme is expected to uplift over 1,8 million households from poverty into prosperity through increased household incomes as well as the creation of employment and empowerment opportunities.
Each village will also be empowered with a nutrition garden with a wide range of fruit trees and sweet potato vines being distributed to households.
It will improve access to water and through horticulture produce, communities’ diet is expected to improve through solar-powered irrigation farming.
This is part of the Government’s strategy to transform rural communities to be more economically productive as the country inches towards Vision 2030.
Since President Mnangagwa’s launch of the project nearly two years ago, lives are being transformed beyond the agriculture projects.
While the aim of the horticulture garden was to ensure crop production, the Government deliberately installed a communal tap water system ending the village’s water distress for both people and livestock in the dry region which often experienced water challenges, especially during the dry season.
Sekusile Makorokoro Presidential Horticulture Scheme chairperson Mr Buzwani Maphosa said the garden has changed the lives of nearly 150 villagers in the area.
He said while they have directly benefited from the garden, the Presidential scheme also brought development to the community.
“Since we started farming, we have harvested four times and this is our fifth crop. The garden has changed our lives. We have been able to supply the local market with our products and even sell to the neighbouring villages such as Mayobodo,” said Mr Maphosa.
“In the past, people used to travel as far as Bulawayo just to get vegetables but we are now the major supplier here. Even our nutrition has greatly improved.”
Mr Maphosa said the establishment of the garden had also led to development in the community.
He said part of the transformation is that they can now access local mobile telecommunication services unlike in the past when they relied on Botswana cellphone networks.