Youths will be prioritised when the Government begins redistributing vacant and underutilised land that has been identified through the recent land audit, listening President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said.
In his eulogy at the burial of former Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Deputy Commissioner Moses Griffiths Mpofu at the National Heroes Acre yesterday, the President said the country should leverage on the legacy bequeathed by its heroes to create a prosperous future.
“I am aware that our youths are crying out for pieces of land and are eager to work the land,” he said.
“The inquiry we launched on agricultural land has identified lots of land which is vacant, underutilised and belonging to multiple owners.
“Government will repossess that land for on-leasing to the landless, foremost among them the youths.”
The land reform programme, said the President, must validate its justness by delivering to “this generation of youth”.
Youths are increasingly taking up farming as a full-time profession.
The President called on farmers to take advantage of this season’s good rains to grow the agriculture sector and the economy.
“The land must, therefore, be worked on, made to produce like never before,” he said.
“Meanwhile, my Government continues to build dams and to set up irrigation schemes designed to climate-proof our agriculture towards greater production and productivity in both lean and ‘fat’ years.
“This is more urgent and important as the ongoing trade on the Africa Continental Free Trade Area presents opportunities.”
The Government, through Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (ZIDA) and ZimTrade, was developing and expanding existing export markets for agricultural produce.
Agriculture is a critical avenue to transform the country into upper middle-income economy by 2030.
“Let us therefore put Zimbabwe on the global agriculture map by taking full advantage of our rich soils, climate and our tradition as a hardworking people,” said the President.
“In this regard, export market-led production must be strengthened, leveraging on the ongoing work by the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (ZIDA) and ZimTrade.
“Our country is well on the path to irreversible economic recovery.
“This is further augmented by the macro-economic fundamentals which are pointing in the right direction.”
President Mnangagwa said the Government continues to mobilise more vaccines after the country took delivery of its first consignment of 200 000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines from China on Monday.
Zimbabwe launched its nationwide vaccination programme on Thursday.
“Early in the week, we took delivery of our first batch of vaccines against the pandemic.
“The vaccination programme started rolling out this Thursday, with our Vice President, who is also the Minister of Health and Child Care, receiving the first jab, and many other frontline workers joining.
“The vaccine is safe and an effective antidote against Covid-19 and indeed part of our weaponry in fighting the virus.
“All of us, including myself as the President, Cabinet ministers and all officials, will get vaccinated.”
He urged Zimbabweans to embrace the immunisation programme for the country to quickly return to normalcy.
Urban local authorities were warned against corruption.
The Government, he added, will not hesitate dealing with land barons behind the illegal parcelling of land to desperate homeseekers.
“We mean business and there will be no going back or let up,” he said.
“We cannot leave our people to the whims and caprices of notorious land barons who have been running riot.
“Equally, the fight against all forms of corruption and other criminal activities continues at full throttle.
“This is what the late Cde Moses Griffiths Mpofu stood for.
“We will not let him down by condoning lawlessness in the country.”
An unrelenting patriot
The President said Cde Mpofu served the country with distinction, loyalty, courage and fortitude.
“He never wavered in the course of serving the nation and Government, particularly with regards ensuring law, order and safety; hence we honour him in this befitting way, resting him among his wartime comrades,” he said.
He added: “I exhort the officers, men and women in the Zimbabwe Republic Police to emulate the footprints of the late national hero, Deputy Commissioner Cde Mpofu (Rtd), who was a rare breed, uncompromising service officer, dedicated and disciplined cadre.
“You must be emboldened by a benchmarking legacy our national hero bequeathed to the policing service.”
The Government was committed towards supporting the police service with regards executing its mandate, he said.
Cde Mpofu was born on August 9, 1954 in Nyamandlovhu District before attending Nhlabathi and Nkonzo primary schools in Tsholotsho.
He completed his secondary education at Tegwani High School.
In 1974, he was appointed to the post of Secretary for Youth in Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU), covering Hwange and Victoria Falls.
He received guerrilla training at Mwembeshi and later Mgagao and Morogoro in Tanzania.
Between 1978 and 1979 he was seconded for further command-related and intelligence training course at the Novocherkassk Advanced Police Academy in the then Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in anticipation of new duties in independent Zimbabwe.
At independence, Cde Mpofu joined the ZRP as a constable before rising through the ranks to the post of Deputy Commissioner in 1999, a rank which he held until his retirement in December 2003.