Empowerment through people-centred policies

The Second Republic is seized with the empowerment of Zimbabweans through broad-based and people-centred inclusive policies, Midlands Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Owen Ncube said at the weekend. 

Speaking during the burial of the late former Zanu PF Midlands provincial political commissar Cde Ben Mataga in Mataga area, Mberengwa, at the weekend, Minister Ncube said under President Mnangagwa’s stewardship, several programmes are being implemented by the Government in pursuit of a prosperous and empowered upper middle-income society by 2030.

“Under the leadership of President Mnangagwa who is also a decorated liberation war fighter himself, the Second Republic is seized with the empowerment of Zimbabweans through broad-based and inclusive policies, defending national sovereignty and independence. 

“The Midlands province is fully behind the President’s transformative and visionary leadership to carry us through to the promised land in 2030 as great expectations have been placed on his shoulders,” said the Minister.

Cde Mataga (84) a veteran teacher, former legislator for Mberengwa West and former Mberengwa Rural District Council councillor, died on February 19 in Zvishavane after a short illness. He was declared a liberation hero.

Minister Ncube said several transformative projects have been completed under the Second Republic while others are being implemented despite the imposition of illegal economic sanctions by the US and its Western allies.

“Signature projects that have been undertaken include the Harare-Beitbridge road where local companies and resources were used to construct a road of international standards, the commissioning of the Hwange Unit 7 and 8, which is now complementing the Kariba Hydro-Power station, and the state-of-the-art new Parliament Building,” he said.

“We also have the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport expansion and refurbishment to meet international benchmarks, the construction and equipping of model hospitals which the Mataga Mini-Hospital here in Mberengwa and implementation of the devolution agenda as provided in the Constitution of Zimbabwe, among several other programmes.”

Minister Ncube said the ongoing implementation of development projects across the country was in fulfilment of the objectives of the war of liberation. 

“Today we do not mourn over the loss of our distinguished revolutionary cadre as we celebrate his life and pro-people programmes and projects under the New Dispensation,” he said.

Minister Ncube described Cde Mataga as a gallant son of the war of liberation and the struggle against imperialism and neo-colonialism

“The Midlands province will always remember him as a dedicated and loyal cadre of Zanu-PF, as a development practitioner and above all, a brave, selfless freedom fighter with unquestionable liberation war credentials,” he said.

“He was a teacher, farmer, businessman, war veteran, councillor, council chairman, Member of Parliament and indeed a consistent and determined Zanu-PF party cadre who rose through the ranks to become the party’s provincial political commissar in the Midlands, a member of NCA and Central Committee.”

Born on August 8, 1940, at Chipedza Village under Chief Mataga in Mberengwa, Cde Mataga attended primary and secondary school in Zvishavane. He further trained as a special teacher for the blind at Waddlove Institute. He held a diploma in agriculture from Central African Correspondence College. 

Cde Mataga worked as a teacher at several schools in Mberengwa from 1960 to 1977. His political journey started in 1963 when the joined the Zanu Youth Wing in the then politically conscious stronghold of Old Highfield, Harare. Cde Mataga left teaching in 1977 and joined the liberation struggle.

“Joining the war of liberation needed fearless, committed, selfless and patriotic cadres who were ready to pay the supreme sacrifice for our independence. Cde Mataga trained at Nzou and Mapaye bases in Mozambique and operated in Chivi, Mwenezi and Mberengwa districts,” said Minister Ncube.

At independence, Cde Mataga was elected a councillor for the Mberengwa Rural District Council during which he also chaired the Midlands chapter of the Association of Rural District Councils. 

Cde Mataga was elected legislator for Mberengwa West Constituency from 1985 to 1990 during which he spearheaded several development projects in the district.

“He held several party positions in Midlands and at the national level. He was the secretary for the commissariat and culture Midlands province for more than 20 years. He was also the Midlands secretary for security and deputy secretary for finance among other portfolios,” said Minister Ncube.

“He served as a member of the NCA and was appointed into the Zanu PF Central Committee in 2009 a position he held until his untimely departure.”

Minister Ncube lauded President Mnangagwa for according to Cde Mataga liberation hero status.

“The conferment of the liberation hero status to Cde Mataga is a confirmation of his commitment and sacrifice to free Zimbabwe from the white minority regime. The objective of the war of liberation was about political and economic independence for the black majority who were treated as second-class citizens in their own country of birth,” he said.

Cde Mataga is survived by his wife Spelile Siziba, eight children and 24 grandchildren.


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