Leaders are not elected to line their pockets, but to work for the development of their communities, First Lady Grace Mugabe has said. She urged leaders, especially Members of Parliament and councillors, to ensure that they contribute significantly to the development of their constituencies.
Amai Mugabe said a developed Zimbabwe cannot be achieved by Government alone, adding that communities should play a role.
Speaking as the guest speaker at the commissioning of Zibagwe Bridge along Chivhu-Nyazura highway yesterday, Mugabe said the development of communities was now at the centre of Government priorities.
“Kana muine macouncillors muno, macouncillors haasi ekuba. Kutora zvinhu vachiisa muhomwe kwete. Know your role. If you do not understand your role, go and ask and get induction courses. Because, most of the people who get into positions of authority, are using that to enrich themselves. You are not in that position of authority to enrich yourself. You are in that position, to serve the people.
“Councillors, your duty is to ensure that roads and bridges are maintained and other social services required by people in your constituencies.”
Mugabe continued: “It is, therefore, my fervent hope that political leaders, the MPs in particular, pay attention to those issues that make life better for the communities you represent. While some are doing it better than others, there are those among us who have consistently disappointed. Please MPs, I implore you. Your people need you. You are there to serve them.
“We must be indefatigable in providing better roads, more schools, closer and clean water sources, food for everyone, health, education and improved social welfare that takes care of the elderly, the orphaned and the socially disadvantaged.”
Amai Mugabe said people should not abuse MPs by making personal demands from them, saying their support should benefit the whole constituency. She urged Zimbabweans to remain united and avoid being used by the country’s detractors.
“We want peace and unity, the way we do it in zanu-pf, Pamberi nekubatana,” she said. “If we are united, we have peace and we work towards the development of our country. Let us not be used to fight amongst ourselves, while our detractors watch television in their homes.
“Are you aware they make fools out of us? They come here, recruit a few people whom the give a few dollars to create disharmony and havoc in Zimbabwe. Isusu tosimukira US$20 chaiyo, kurwisana, topondana and they will be busy watching TVs saying look at those fools – tichirwisana, tichitemana nemapadza.
“Look at what they have done in Libya. There is no Libya to talk about now. Vanhu veko vari kufunga Gaddafi everyday vachimurota but Gaddafi akafa haachamuka. Let us not be used tichiitiswa zvinhu zvisina maturo tichimukira hurumende yedu inotichengeta. Look, what is happening in Iraq as well. They lied that Saddam Hussein was a dictator with weapons of mass destruction.”
Amai Mugabe assured people that the current economic difficulties were a passing phase adding that Zimbabwe would prosper.
Turning to Zim-Asset, Mugabe said Government efforts were being hampered by illegal sanctions imposed by the West.
She said Government was doing its best in various sectors of the economy in line with Zim-Asset.
Amai Mugabe said the commissioning of Zivagwe Bridge was testimony of the good work being done by Government in line with Zim-Asset.
She said Government focus had shifted towards community development.
“Opposition functionaries will be saying nothing is being done towards implementation of Zim-Asset, but here we are, witnessing Zim-Asset projects under the Infrastructural Development cluster,” she said.
“Next time we want to see electricity in every household. That is the development that we want. Under this cluster, right at the top of that list is the rehabilitation of our roads and transportation infrastructure such as railroads, bridges and airports. Government realises that development is difficult to achieve when roads are not easily accessible.
“While the commissioning of this bridge and road can be erroneously viewed as a low profile event, our presence today has to naturally shift our mindsets and accord community development projects the reverence they deserve. I subscribe to the notion that Government’s role is only facilitative and to avail a friendly working environment.”
Mugabe said education should prepare people to become employers and not employees.
She urged people to change the mindset of going to school to get a job after completing studies but come up ideas to create employment.
Chivhu, she said, was an economic gateway linking various border posts and implored investors to consider investing in the town. Mugabe left Chikomba district with smiles after donating various food stuffs and farming inputs worth thousands of dollars.
The food stuffs included 200 tonnes of maize, 150 tonnes of rice and several litres of cooking oil.
The inputs included 300 tonnes of fertiliser and maize seed. Transport and Infrastructure Development Minister Dr Jorum Gumbo said construction of Zivagwe Bridge resumed in 2011 till August 2012.
He said the 40-metre long bridge was constructed at a cost of US$2 million while resurfacing of the road around the area saw Government forking out US$2,3 million.
The commissioning of the bridge was also attended by Ministers Dr Christopher Mushohwe (Information, Media and Broadcasting Services), Ambrose Mutinhiri (Minister of State for Mashonaland East), Mike Bimha (Industry and Commerce) Edgar Mbwembwe (Deputy Foreign Affairs) and several permanent secretaries among other senior Government officials.