New dawn beckons for Zimbabwe.
Part of the multitudes of zanu-pf supporters who thronged the Mutare Aerodrome open space for an address by President Mnangagwa ahead of the July 30 harmonised elections.
Manicaland Province is poised for an economic boon as the new Government has lined up several short-term infrastructure development projects that will turn the province into an economic hub. Addressing over 30 000 Zanu- PF members at a campaign rally at Mutare Aerodrome yesterday, President Mnangagwa said his Government would construct a new bridge to replace Birchenough Bridge on the Mutare-Masvingo road, an airport in Mutare, a new dam for the city and a citrus processing plant.
He said Birchenough Bridge was now in a bad state and needed an urgent solution.
“Birchenough Bridge is not looking good. For us to fix it we need $30 million and building a new bridge requires $40 million,” said President Mnangagwa.
“So I have decided that we should first build a new bridge for $40 million then repair the old one after that.
“I understand you have requested for an airport in Mutare. I promise that we will construct that airport for you here in Mutare so that tourists can be able to fly in and out instead of driving.
“I have heard your grievances and I promise that you will have your airport.”
President Mnangagwa said the projects were part of measures to boost the country’s economy.
He said work to construct and refurbish all roads in the province would continue as Government prioritises the transport network.
President Mnangagwa expressed concern over the unavailability of a citrus plant in the province, a situation that saw fruits from the area being processed elsewhere.
“I have been advised that there are plenty of fruits in Manicaland and some of them are thrown away after they have gone bad,” he said.
“We have a citrus plant that was commissioned by the late Vice President Joshua Nkomo in Norton.
“We are currently constructing another one in Esigodini in Matabeleland South.
“Since Manicaland has a lot of fruits, we will make sure that the third plant is constructed here in Manicaland so that all our fruits will be processed into juices.”
The President said Manicaland was endowed with tourist sites that could boost the economy.
He said Government would facilitate the construction of Kondo Dam, which has been on the drawing board for years.
“We have always thought that when we want to do such projects, the money comes from (Patrick) Chinamasa (Minister of Finance and Economic Development), but now we have been given $680 million by (Chinese) President Xi Jinping to build dams,” said the President.
President Mnangagwa said the projects were part of Government’s efforts to devolve power to provincial levels.