New Midlands Minister Owen Ncube hits the ground running Cde Owen Ncube

Patrick Chitumba, [email protected]

NEWLY-APPOINTED Minister of State for Midlands Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Cde Owen Ncube, has hit the ground running amid expectations by stakeholders that he will consolidate the progress made in the last five years and scale up the momentum.

Cde Ncube is one of the 10 provincial ministers who were recently appointed by the President to lead development processes in their respective provinces. 

Minister Ncube hit the ground running through a handover takeover process between him and his predecessor Senator Larry Mavima at the Government complex yesterday where he expressed his determination to work hard for the province to thrive.

He bounces back to the same post he assumed at the inception of the Second Republic before he was reassigned to head the Ministry of State Security.

Speaking after the successful handover-takeover event, Cde Ncube said he was aware of the huge task ahead and was determined to make sure that Government programmes, which commenced under the leadership of Senator Mavima would be completed on time.

“I am equal to the task of leading the province to prosperity in line with President Mnangagwa’s Vision 2030, which we all need to feed into,” he said.

“The National Development Strategy (NDS1) has parameters that guide us in all we do. I will continue with the development works, which include road rehabilitation and construction of dams that were being done under the leadership of Cde Mavima. So, my task is simply to continue from where my colleague left.”

Part of the Kwekwe-Mvuma Road that is being rehabilitated

Outgoing minister, Cde Mavima said he was happy to have been given the opportunity to serve the people of the Midlands province and paid tribute to President Mnangagwa.

“It was an honour and my work was made easier by the disbursement of devolution funds, which saw the province embarking on a lot of life-changing projects,” he said.

“I’m happy for my colleague who is assuming this role. I have no doubt that he will be able to steer the ship going forward.”

Meanwhile, the Midlands community has expressed confidence that Minister Ncube will deal with some of the challenges affecting the province such as illegal mining.

Property developer and hotelier Dr Solomon Matsa said the appointment of Minister Ncube by President Mnangagwa was a welcome development for the province.

“He is now our provincial father, thus, he must embrace all people in the province without favour or denominations,” he said.

Dr Matsa who is the Business Economic Empowerment Forum (BEEF) president said they expected the province to be united and work with Cde Ncube for the socio-economic development of the province.

Mr Michael Nyoni a vendor in the City of Gweru said they expected Minister Ncube to assist them in having permanent vending stalls so that they also operate within the confines of the law.

Infrastructure development expert Dr Tinashe Manzungu said as industry leaders, they were very confident in Minister Ncube’s leadership skills.

“His appointment by President Mnangagwa is a welcome development for us in business because he is not new to this portfolio and we expect so much from him, especially on the economic front,” he said.

“We expect more business opportunities since the President is on record saying the country is built by its own people.”

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