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Thursday, 14 June 2007

Text of Mugabe's speech at ceremony to distribute farming machinery!!


TALKZIMBABWE brings you the text of the live broadcast of President Robert Mugabe's speech at the ceremony to distribute farming machinery. The speech was delivered in English.
AFP20070612509004 Harare ZTV in English 1536 GMT 11 Jun 07
THE Honorable Vice President Comrade Joseph Msika, the Honourable Vice President Joyce Mujuru in absentia and Baba Mujuru who is here, also, the Speaker of Parliament Comrade John Nkomo in absentia but as represented by the Deputy Speaker who is here, members of the cabinet here present.


Honourable ministers, members of the Politburo who are here, our bishops who happen to be present, Reverend Trevor Manhanga who opened our day with a prayer.

The resident minister and governor of Harare Metropolitan Province, other governors who are here and the governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and with him of course although reference has been made to him in collectivity, the minister of agricultural engineering and mechanisation and the minister of finance who has just spoken.

The president of the senate, members of the senate and parliament who are here. Service chiefs, members of the opposition who have come here in [applause] we are happy they are here [applause] and they are part of us in the entity we call the nation and no politics can ever make them alien and therefore that realisation is very important that there must be occasions we must be together [applause]. And after all we eat together, don't we?

Chairperson of the Harare City Commission Mrs Sekesayi Makwavarara, senior government officials here present, traditional chiefs, farmers here present, members of the diplomatic corps, ladies and gentlemen.  Our Women's League, members of the Women's League who are here, members of the Youth League, including old youth leaguers, Comrade Msika and myself [laughter, applause]. We haven't resigned from the youth league. [laughter]

Comrades and friends, today is indeed a happy day for all of us. We proudly mark a moment which will reside in our country's history as a solid step forward in our march towards self sustenance in food security and other agro-related sectors.

When government embarked on the revolutionary land reform program, our detractors led by Britain, sought to breed disillusionment and despondency among our people through their false message of a complete annihilation of Zimbabwe's agriculture sector. Further, this gloomy prophecy got misguided futile echoes of support from a few among us who chose to betray the country and sup with the enemy in seeking to perpetuate audacious and unjust remnants of colonialism. As is characteristic of any pioneering mission the land reform program has during its eventful life been emotive, at times, and met with setbacks at others. However, the principle objective of government has been to remain steadfast in our resolve to follow our deepest conviction that what is morally right and just for the people of Zimbabwe always comes first. [applause]

 I remember in one of his deliveries at the United Nations, President Mbeki saying, this was a moment when we were witnessing the principle that might was right, but I think we are beginning a principle, sorry we are beginning a period, which is witnessing the fact that the principle has reversed itself. It is right is also might [applause] and what is right is beginning to reign. It was wrong for Bush and Blair to attack Iraq. It was wrong for Blair to organize the world into tarnishing us, completely disregarding the area of our difference which was the land issue and the failure by Britain to abide by the agreement at Lancaster House to provide the necessary money for compensation for the farmers, and organizing the rest of the world on the political principal that Zimbabwe was a violator of human rights, of the rule of law and good governance. That was a big lie put together for the rest of the world to get us and on that basis those who fell for it imposed sanctions on us. But we knew we were right in what we had done, we were doing. We knew we were right in our politics, we knew we were right in taking in our land, and indeed right is becoming our might.

Through our unshakable determination, today we are proud masters of our political and econo mic destiny. As the fountain of our collective heritage, which is back in our hands, the land, the land should now be transformed into acres upon acres or into hectares upon hectares of maximum productivity. It is in this context that government, with the assistance of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and other stakeholders, has embarked on a long term agricultural mechanisation program meant to give added impetus to the productivity of our farmers.

The mechanization program, whose implementation will span the next five years, focuses on equipping farmers with mechanized capability across the entire cropping cycle, covering tillage, planting, fertiliser and chemicals application, crop tendering as well as harvesting, and right up to transportation to the market. And we realize that it is only one dimension of our agriculture sector. The livestock sector is another area where equal inputs are needed in order for our livestock to also play a part in the same way cropping is intended to play a part. Experience here at home, in the region and all over the world has shown that farm productivity is directly linked to the degree of mechanization and specialization in the agro chain, hence my government has taken a bold step of strengthening and increasing the support available to our farmers through mechanization. Collaborate efforts between our ministers of agricultural engineering and mechanization and the Reserve Bank, among other players, has seen government procuring assorted farm machinery which we are proudly distributing to the initial batch of beneficiaries today.

I am informed that in total that this machinery constituting the first phase of the mechanization program comprises of some 925 tractors, 35 combine harvesters, 586 disc plows, 463 disc harrows, 78 fertiliser spreaders, 241 boom sprayers and 71 planters. I am informed that in determining today's list of beneficiaries, intensive interaction with community leadership structures played a predominant role that enabling the identification of those farmers who have consistently demonstrated impressive production levels. To this end, today's beneficiaries are men and women who are leaving the years of the government's support so they can now translate this new dawn into positive yields delivered to the Grain Marketing Board and other markets. As government we will continue to work towards the expansion of the mechanization program in order to empower the growing number of our farmers. Consideration will also be given to special interest groups who include women, the youths, war veterans and war collaborators as well as grassroots farmers on A1 and communal farms. As we work to reinvigorate agriculture productivity, government will remain alert to the varying needs of our farmers by ensuring that national resources are deployed in a manner that yields maximum impact.

Equally prominent in government's prepared way of national resource allocation is elimination of all forms and manner of corruption, favouritism or discrimination, and this I say of whatever nature of description. As Zimbabweans we need to turn the current challenges obtaining in the country into stepping stones towards macro-economic recovery and development. The equipment I have the honor of unveiling today should not be used as mere status symbols that eventually gathers rust and dust for lack of use. So that people say I have a tractor? That is not the way to go. Appropriate self service centers will be created countrywide to give farmers accessible spares and maintenance avenues. Minister Made has spoken about it.

Equally important is centralization systems for the procurement of spare parts and ancillary equipment should be formed to push out briefcase dealers who continue to wreck havoc on our economy by stoking up the inflation monster through shameless profiteering. I hope among the beneficiaries of today are not any speculators. Those who want, well we have been told not to use the farming equipment for purposes of hiring out and making money and making that the main purpose of their ownership and possession. The phenomenal foundation unveiled today must also be nurtured and supported by provision of finance and inputs to farmers. Slippages of past seasons have no place where our motto is "Maximum Productivity." Combined with the government's dam construction and irrigation expansion programs, our national efforts will strengthen the country's buffer wall of incidences of recurring drought.

It was, I think, an inspired act that you also invited members of the church. There are a lot of things that we can do, we the humans can do. We can make these huge harvesters, make them as artistic as possible but at the end of the day they must operate in a profitable way. It doesn't mater how learned we may be, we remain humans, man of flesh, creatures of flesh. It is causing rains to fall. Our forefathers had rain makers. I don't know whether in fact it was they who caused rain but to my knowledge they also prove the rain should come in their own way. They also sought divine intervention for the rains to fall and so it is they the men of God, those who have dedicated themselves to religion, taking from the spiritual side of our lives, it is they we rely on not only in times of need, when we have drought but also in times of plenty. So we can remain grateful to the Lord Almighty so he can shed his tears over us. And we are now going to go into the agriculture season, summer, and we don't know what the future holds for us in terms of rains. So they too play their part, the church people, the men of God. Their prayers are needed for us to get the rain and for us to be meaningful in our agriculture otherwise the huge implements can not do much, they will be absolutely useless in the absence of water, in the absence of rain, in the absence of moisture. But then the good God, the good Lord never, never say you will not get rain at all. He does give us rain sometimes but when he gives us rain we don't realize that most of it is running to the sea where it has come from, and we don't take precautions to preserve it, conserve it and put it together.

We have done so here much more than the average African country, including South Africa. Well, South Africa hasn't got much by way of rivers anyway nor have they got much in terms of dams. But the largest dams we can talk about are Aswan in Africa and then you have big lakes and so on. But of all the countries we have done a lot of damming, you know water creation, water conservation areas. But that they are not enough, we have got to work in order for these implements to be really successful and consistently successful. We are looking at a period when, really when the rainfall is very short and then we will have recourse to the water that we will have conserved in our dams. And so, our agriculture remains consistent, short of that we will always be having these fluctuations in our productivity. Years of plenty followed by years of hunger.

Ladies and gentlemen, comrades and friends, as we commemorate today's remarkable achievement, we need to commit ourselves to a singleness of purpose and resist attempts by our detractors to tempt us into losing sight of our national program. Even as we are having problems and looking forward, there are others in Europe, in America, planning our downfall. In the British parliament, hardly a month ends without the debate on Zimbabwe. And when you listen to it, look at what is happening on television, you begin to wonder really whether the British are any longer sane and rational. They are debating Zimbabwe as what country to them? Who are we to them? You ask whether this [David] Triesman is a mad man. Raising the issue of Zimbabwe either in the House of Lords or in their Parliament. That is imperialism at its worst. They don't care about the international law, international relations and the norms that govern us or what is written in the charter of the United Nations that you should not interfere in the domestic affairs of other countries. No, that does not bind them. As long as they are thinking of their interests and their interests only governing them, then they will attack any country that they think, you see, is affecting their interests. And Zimbabwe of course was for nearly a century a provider of not only life but wealth to Britons who were here and Britons who were in Britain even as lots of our wealth was being scooped from the ribs of the little part of our earth going to Britain to feed others at our expense. So let us be very cautious, very careful, very defensive, very alert. But within our own system let us do those things that sustain our system and not help towards its destruction as desired by our enemies.

Issues like the parallel market, illicit trading in gold or other minerals, externalization of our funds and deliberate fuelling of inflation by raising prices every day. These things in total undermine our economy and our wellbeing. In regarding inflation, the recently appointed National Incomes and Pricing Commission we hope will, without delay work diligently to remove any elements of irregularity and any excesses in our markets in defense of our workers and the generality of consumers. Further, government will continue to play the facilitatory role of creating an enabling environment for active private sector participation. And on this one I am glad to have been shown the products of our private sector. All the plows, I am told they exceed 1,500, plus some other equipment were produced by our industry so eventually let us also work at substituting these products with our own. We study them, we have lots of experts, let them design their own equipment so that eventually we produce our own tractors, our own engines. So import substitution is a very important process.

In due course the ongoing reviews of the mining legislation also will be finalized, this is now going to other supportive sectors, supported by a more better transparent and systematic management and accounting of our precious minerals, including gold, diamonds, platinum and emeralds and uranium. We need a lot of iron if we are going to manufacture a lot of steel, if we are going to produce equipment, but we need to revamp our mining sector not just with capital investment, but also with experts and over and above that, supervision and management. In implementing these reforms my government will remain alert to genuine requirements of well-meaning strategic partners in the investment sectors.

Fellow Zimbabweans, events such as we are seeing today must give us momentum and deep faith in the undeniable ability we have to turn around our economy. Let me end by reaffirming the commitment of government to ensuring that we continue to evolve solutions to all the challenges we face. Challenges must not weigh us down. Challenges must raise in us the spirit to counteract them, to challenge them without those challenges, those problems and problems are a challenge, there cannot be solutions. Let us be adaptable. Ladies and gentlemen, comrades and friends, it is a big day, a great day that has brought us together.

As I said earlier, first I wondered why the governor and Minister Made wanted this to be so great an event, it is merely handing over tractors to farmers and why can't we just give it to these farmers and they said no, the first phase of our national program of mechanizing our agriculture and leading us to be really self sufficient in agriculture and produce much more for export, it is necessary that we must mark this not with just jubilation but this great respect given it, including even a prayer by a member of the church. So indeed it turns out indeed that they were right and I was wrong in my underestimating the event, and it also happens that it is an event which has brought even politically our other side to be with us [applause]. And it's a national event. The issue of feeding is for everyone. No one amongst us does not survive from eating. Yes, when we start fighting politically it is because we are full. It now gives me great pleasure to officially commission this first phase of the agriculture mechanization program even as I urge relevant government ministries and the Reserve Bank to keep up its good work, always remembering that the land is the main anchor of our economy [applause]. We belong to the land. We are sons of the soil. The land belongs to us. And so that should be remembered all the time. I don't want to remind you what the Reverend said to us that when we die, the soul leaves the body and where does it go? They don't say to land, they say to dust. I would rather be happy if they said to land we go because that's where we came from. Comrades and friends, I thank you for listening.
[Description of Source: Harare ZTV in Shona -- Government-owned and controlled national television]


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