MIDLANDS Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) operators based in the small mining town of Zvishavane have welcomed the appointment of their homeboy Emmerson Mnangagwa as first Vice-President (VP) as a blessing saying they can now pin him to spearhead development in the province.
The SME operators said Mnangagwa had done nothing for the past three decades that he has been in the government as a minister, but his latest appointment that has put him in pole position to succeed President Robert Mugabe meant they could now confront him as the second most powerful person in the country.
Midlands SMEs secretary-general Bigboy Murenga said: “Mnangagwa has done nothing for us since independence despite holding various positions, but this appointment means we can now challenge him as the vice-president to do something for the people.
“There are a number of projects that are still on paper seeking funding for implementation and he being the key player in the province he must assist by all means necessary.”
Soon after being sworn in as vice-president, Mnangagwa dashed back to his rural village Mapanzure, about 40km outside Zvishavane town, where he threw an extravagant bash for locals, including traditional leaders and his close associates, to celebrate his appointment.
Some villagers said it was now time for Mnangagwa to show concern for developmental issues in one of the most underdeveloped districts in the country despite vast mineral deposits it possesses.
“There is every reason to celebrate but the celebration will be more meaningful if he (Mnangagwa) changes the lives of Zvishavane people. It’s very devastating that people in his village still walk many kilometres to seek treatment yet the construction of a clinic (Lundi Clinic) that is 100 metres from his house has gone for over two decades without being completed. So we expect a change from him now that he is VP,” a village elder Johannes Madamwa said.
Shabanie-Mashaba Mines workers said Mnangagwa must prioritise the resuscitation of local mines after going for more than five years without pay following the collapse of the asbestos mines.
“It is paramount for the VP to make sure we get a tarred road that runs through Mabasa business centre from Shurugwi to Zvishavane, but the major expectation is for him to facilitate the reopening of Shabanie-Mashaba Mines,” Chief Masunda said.