THE election season will soon be upon us and when it eventually comes; the electorate will certainly judge political players on their policies and concrete programmes on the ground.
When one thinks about elections in Zimbabwe especially the 2013 polls, there is one province in the country that made mockery of the predictions by pollsters and it is Matabeleland South.
Detractors did not give the revolutionary party, Zanu-PF any chance in that province as since the turn of the millennium, Zanu-PF had been struggling to control that part of the country with the two MDC formations dominating.
However, when the elections were held in July 2013, Zanu-PF tore the form book into shreds when it swept all the stakes to clinch the 13 National Assembly seats on offer.
In response, the Government of President Mugabe has not let down the people of Matabeleland South as since 2013 we have witnessed serious developmental projects in that part of the country. Cognisant of the fact that Matabeleland South lies in a region that receives poor rains, the
Government has come up with a deliberate plan of rehabilitating irrigation schemes to boost food security.
Although irrigation schemes dotted around the province such as Silalatshani, Makwe and Zhove have been doing well, it is Arda Antelope in Kezi and Arda Ingwizi in the neighbouring district of Mangwe that have been a beacon of success, thanks to Government efforts.
On Friday, Acting President Emmerson Mnangagwa made another visit to Arda Antelope in Kezi and said he was impressed with progress at the estate and commended the quality of their crop. The estate planted 480ha of maize and produced 4 416 tonnes at an average yields of 9,2 per hectare last season.
He said by the same time next year, Arda Antelope would have reached
1 000ha and that a similar target would be reached at Arda Ingwizi. He said the two estates alone should be able to produce 20 000 tonnes of grain for Matabeleland South. The success of the irrigation schemes are a clear sign that Zanu-PF is living to its electoral promises that it would deliver to the people. As of now the people of Matabeleland South especially those living close to the two Arda estates have enough food and some of them have been employed as production at the two irrigation facilities continues to grow.
The success of the Government programmes in Matabeleland South especially of agricultural nature have not been lost to Zanu-PF Politburo member, Cde Kembo Mohadi who is also Beitbridge East representative in the National Assembly, which is in Matabeleland South. Cde Mohadi believes with such successful programmes there is no way the ruling party could lose elections in the province come 2018.
While welcoming Cde Mnangagwa at Arda Antelope Estate, Cde Mohadi said legislators from Matabeleland South have no reason to lose in next year’s elections as the party and the Government, led by President Mugabe has created a favourable environment through development projects to guarantee them victory.
Cde Mohadi even went a step further to say if the 13 seats are lost in this coming election, they would have let the party down because the Zanu-PF Government has given them the platform to win. Cde Mohadi said if the Zanu-PF MPs or candidates lose they deserve to be prosecuted.
We totally agree with Cde Mohadi that the Government has done much for the people of Matabeleland South especially on food security.
We hope the people of Matabeleland South now realise that working with the ruling party brings development closer to their doorsteps.
This is because it is easier to co-ordinate programmes unlike working with opposition elements who would be bent on proving otherwise. We therefore call upon the people of Matabeleland South to also vote wisely next year.
However, Zanu-PF should guard against complacency despite being the only party that looks ready for next year’s elections.
It has oiled its wheels ahead of 2018. And that it has the numbers is there for all to see as demonstrated by the President’s Youth Interface Rallies.
With the next Interface Rally in Gwanda in Matabeleland South on Saturday, it is also time for the province to show that it is still standing with the party and its leader President Mugabe.
We expect a bumper crowd.