THE era of political slogans is gone and it is time to work on the economy and deliver on the wishes of the people, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga has said.
VP Chiwenga made the remarks at Green Valley Estate in Chakari, near Kadoma in Mashonaland West province, at a field day for Mr Colleen Gura, who has a thriving 350 hectares of winter wheat.
He visited the farm on Tuesday.
“What we have come here for is to tell you that we are now ready to implement what we promised you during election campaigns,” he said. “We do not promise that which we can not fulfil. We said we want to make Zimbabwe’s economy to be a middle income by 2030.”
Zanu-PF Government, said VP Chiwenga, was now focusing on service delivery for its five-year term that it got from the just-ended election.
“Elections will be held after another five years,” he said. “Zimbabwe will never be the same again for the next five years as we ensure productivity on farms and economic development.”
VP Chiwenga said it was time to restore Zimbabwe to its former status as the breadbasket of the region.
“We now want to speak the language of economic development,” he said. “Politics is now behind us. Our President will be inaugurated soon after the Constitutional Court processes. We do not eat or cook politics, children want food on their table, so it is now time for productivity in particular those on farms as what we have seen here.”
VP Chiwenga bemoaned the high cost of water and electricity, saying they impeded on viability of farmers.
“Zinwa tariffs should be reviewed,” he said. “They are too high. The same with power tariffs. We shall sit down soon as Cabinet to deliberate on the issue of tariffs. They should be affordable, particularly for farmers who are providing food for those in urban areas.”
Speaking at the same occassion, Agriculture, Lands and Rural Resettlement Minister Perrance Shiri said it was time to focus on land productivity and end hunger that had plagued the country.
“We want to end hunger for good,” said Minister Shiri. “That can only be achieved by viewing farming as a business.”
In an interview, Mr Gura said his vision was to ensure automation of his farm to reduce labour costs.
He bemoaned the producer price of commodities such as maize and wheat, which he said had remained static despite a significant rise in cost of production.
“The producer price of maize and wheat was set in 2012 and since the prices of inputs have gone up, in some cases they have doubled, but the producer price has remained the same,” Mr Gura said. “Everybody is increasing his price, except the farmer.”