Seventeen Chiefs from Binga District in Matebeleland North Province, five groups of youths and women, received fishing rigs from President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday.
The President also gave four rigs to Chiefs from Nyaminyami District in Kariba, Mashonaland West province.
The Rigs are expected to revolutionise the lives of the traditional leaders in the district whose counterparts in other provinces benefitted from the Land Reform Programme.
Speaking at the handover ceremony at Binga District Council Harbour, President Mnangagwa said the Chiefs asked for the Fishing Rigs and the New Dispensation considered the request positively.
"Chiefs from other areas with fertile land asked for land and we gave them. It’s unfortunate that Binga does not have fertile land. However, Binga has water bodies that have fish and we decided to give the chiefs some Fishing Rigs so that they are empowered like their counter parts in other provinces,” said the President.
He praised the chiefs in the district for preserving culture.
The President informed Binga residents that his Government would not leave any place and anyone behind. He said Binga had been lagging behind in terms of development, but would henceforth receive utmost attention from Government.
“I am told that your hospital is in a sorry state. We have the Vice President here who is also the Minister of Health and Child Care. I have given him money to rehabilitate the hospital. He has told me that he has already bought two ambulances for your hospital. I have also directed Deputy Minister (Douglas) Karoro (Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement) to make sure that there is clean water at the hospital. We will make sure that communities such as Binga have access to clean water. As a country, our access to clean water is at 67% and we want to improve through the Presidential Borehole Drilling Scheme. Your chiefs have also asked for clean water at their homesteads. I will therefore leave the rig here until every chief has a borehole at his home,” said the President
The President promised to build two boarding schools in the district and electrify some schools so that students can study science subjects. He said Government would make sure that all the satellite schools in the district are transformed into modern schools.
The chiefs thanked the President for the fishing rigs which they said would significantly empower them.
“Chiefs should never be looked down upon because of poverty. These rigs will empower us and I would like to thank the President for keeping his word. We asked for the rigs and you have given us. It goes to show that you are indeed a listening President. We have been talking about this issue since the Old Dispensation and we have seen four Ministers coming in and going without anything tangible. With the New Dispensation, it has taken only one meeting for the project to take off,” said Chief Siansali.
The empowerment of chiefs, youths and women is in sync with President Mnangagwa’s mantra of leaving no one and no place behind. It is also a step towards achieving Vision 2030 of attaining an upper middle income economy by 2030.