ZIMBABWE – President Mugabe deserves to be honoured for his bravery when he embarked on the land reform programme that saw tens of thousands of previously marginalised blacks getting prime farming land, Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko has said.
Addressing hundreds of new indigenous sugar cane farmers who benefited under the land reform programme at Mkwasine Estates in Chiredzi last week, VP Mphoko said President Mugabe was going to leave a long-lasting legacy through the land reform exercise.
He challenged Zimbabweans to exalt and extol local heroes instead of honouring foreign ones.
“In Zimbabwe, we are lucky that we have President Mugabe who is going to leave a legacy of embarking on the land redistribution programme to give historically marginalised blacks land in their country of birth,” he said.
“The land some of you now have, in particular sugar cane plots for those who are here in Chiredzi, did not come from the Government, but from the spirit and resolve of President Mugabe.”
VP Mphoko said Zimbabweans should take pride in who they are and strive to carve their own unique destiny instead of worshipping foreign heroes.
He stressed that in President Mugabe and the late Vice President Joshua Nkomo, Zimbabwe has its own founding fathers who shaped and inspired today’s political and socio-economic order.
“The truth that will never change is that President Mugabe and the late VP Nkomo are the founding fathers of our nation,” he said.
“We should honour them for the legacy they are going to leave us”.
“Some of us take pride in honouring foreign heroes in Britain and America, but people in those countries will never do that to our own heroes.”
VP Mphoko urged Zimbabweans to hold the Unity Accord dear, describing those wishing for the collapse of the pact as day-dreamers.
He bemoaned corruption which he said was threatening the implementation of some Government programmes countrywide.
VP Mphoko said there was unanimity on the need for zero tolerance of corruption.
“From President Mugabe down to other forums such as Cabinet and even the Politburo of our party Zanu-PF, we have identified corruption as a major threat to achieving some of our goals,” he said.
“The message that we will continue to say is that down with corruption.”
VP Mphoko promised to take the issue of high demand for sugar cane plots amongst women and youths in Chiredzi district to the next Zanu-PF Politburo.
This was after women and youths from the district bitterly complained about being marginalised in the allocation of cane plots.
Masvingo provincial affairs Minister Senator Shuvai Mahofa decried the rampant illegal grabbing of cane plots from surviving spouses, especially women in Chiredzi. This needed to stop, she said.
VP Mphoko toured cane fields owned by new farmers at Mkwasine before visiting crocodile rearing projects run by the Zimbabwe Bio Energy at Nuanetsi Ranch in Mwenezi.