ZIMBABWE – President Mugabe arrived here yesterday for the 15th zanu-pf Annual National People’s Conference which he will officially open today, with deliberations expected to be centred on the economy and the state of the party.
He arrived in the evening and will plant a tree at Boabab Primary School, as per tradition to mark the National Tree Planting Day which falls on December 1.
Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko arrived in the morning, while Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa landed in the evening.
Other senior Zanu-PF officials and the more than 5 000 delegates, drawn from the 10 provinces, trickled in at different times yesterday, some by bus and others by planes.
The conference will be held at the Elephant Hills Resort Golf Course under the theme: “Consolidating People’s Power through ZimAsset.”
Zanu-PF spokesperson Cde Simon Khaya Moyo said it was now time for party cadres to make introspection and find ways to improve the lives of Zimbabweans in line with the Government economic blue print, Zim-Asset.
“We are ready to roll and delegates have arrived,” he said. “The conference will naturally open with an address by the President and thereafter we shall be following the programme and agenda.
“We expect lively debates on the economy and state of the party by various committees. Delegates will be active on the implementation of Zim-Asset and Finance Minister Cde Patrick Chinamasa will make a presentation on Zim-Asset which will activate debate.
Cde Khaya Moyo added: “We are also looking forward to having the resolutions made by the provinces and those to be done by the Women’s League and the Youth League.
“It will be interesting to see which ones the conference will adopt.”
All the provinces have endorsed President Mugabe as the party’s candidate for the 2018 general elections.
The programme is expected to start at 10am, with President Mugabe officially opening the indaba and delivering a key note address before tabling the Central Committee report.
Minister Chinamasa is then expected to present a comprehensive report on the progress made in the implementation of Zim-Asset.
Ten Ministers are then expected to respond by specifically talking about deliverables by their ministries for people to have a full understanding of what is being done on the ground.
In the evening, delegates will break into various committees to discuss in detail those presentations and come up with recommendations.
Zanu-PF secretary for administration Cde Ignatius Chombo said many people would have an appreciation of Government efforts in improving people’s livelihoods after the presentations.
“We are geared up and a lot of people think that Government has not been delivering,” he said. “People should listen carefully to everything to be presented so that they know the progress and way forward. We are on an upward development and some of the success stories of Zim-Asset will be unveiled.”
Cde Chombo said most provincial delegates who arrived yesterday had already been accredited in their respective provinces, with only a few guests, service providers and some members of the local press being accredited at the venue of the conference.
He said one of the unique aspects of this year’s conference was the provision of catering services by the party’s Women’s League.
“The most interesting and important thing about this event this time around is that each province has its own catering unit and all our invited guests have also a catering entity that is available to them,” said Cde Chombo.
“Most important is the fact that this is the first time that the Women’s League has provided catering services and it’s good that the league is able to cater for a given entity, of course for a fee, why not? and this to me is a good development from an organisational point of view.”
Cde Chombo said all the logistics were in place and some of the delegates will be accommodated at local schools in the town, with each delegate being given two blankets and toiletries.
He said least 75 exhibitors have been accredited to showcase their wares and business entities at the conference.
There is a hive of activity in Victoria Falls, with the town’s mayor, Councilor Sifiso Mpofu, saying the conference would set the tone ahead of the official opening of the Victoria Falls International Airport on Sunday.