We must be better than the best: President

To catapult Zimbabwe to its Vision 2030 of an upper middle-income economy, Zimbabweans must strive to be better than the best by harnessing technology and also employing competent personnel, President Mnangagwa has said.

He said this yesterday as he hosted pastors from the Seventh Day Adventist Church who visited and toured his Precabe Farm in Sherwood just outside the Midlands city of Kwekwe.

Embodying the benefits of hard work and determination, the President said when he started his now thriving farming business he had less than 30 herd of cattle, but that number has since ballooned to over 2 000.

The former white farmer at the farm used to produce 10 tonnes per hectare of maize  and now the President is doing 15 and 18 tonnes per hectare.

The farm, which is relatively small and lies in a semi-arid region, produces no less than 4 000 tonnes of maize and 2 000 tonnes of wheat, demonstrating the importance of technology which is used to provide water for irrigation and farming throughout the year.

The pastors’ visit was facilitated by SDA Elder and businessman Kudakwashe Tagwirei.

In his brief speech, President Mnangagwa, who was praised by the Church leaders for leading by example, said his dictum Nyika inovakwa, igotongwa, igonamatigwa nevene vayo is the guiding star in the country’s march towards economic development that leaves no one and no place behind.

“I am glad with what Mr Tagwirei did, I told him to come with the pastors and witness what we are doing here,” said President Mnangagwa.  

“When we came here, most of the structures that are now here were not there. It was bare. We built everything from zero. Although we have a relatively small farm, we can compete with even those with bigger farms.

“This is because we invested into intensive farming. I sent my brother to South Africa to learn from the best and we are now doing better than the best.” 

President Mnangagwa said the secret of his success was hard work and investment into the business.

President Mnangagwa reads a Bible he was gifted by Solusi University Vice Chancellor Professor Khumbulani Mpofu (right), who was part of the Seventh Day Adventist Church delegation that toured the President’s Precabe Farm in Kwekwe yesterday

“This is a technology-driven farm, it is always good to invest in farming and making sure we do our work to the best of our abilities,” he said. “We have the capacity to be the best, every time we look at how we can improve, and I think we are doing very well. 

“In farming, you must also employ the best, you pay good salaries and the results will be good too. Cattle, we started at 25 and now we have more than 2 000.” 

Inspired by President Mnangagwa’s innovation, modernisation and industrialisation thrust, Elder Tagwirei said they had since sourced farming implements for the SDA-run Solusi University and this year the college will be planting its first wheat crop.

“I came here to update the President on the projects we are doing as per his directive,” he said. “I don’t do anything on my own, but I would have been sent by the President. I know Your Excellency innovation is important to you and we have introduced that at the University. We also sourced tractors for our schools and each of the three unions has 21 tractors. 

“What we learnt is you don’t just talk, but you walk the talk, as religious leaders we also learnt a valuable lesson that practice what you preach. This farm is full of testimonies of hard work.” 

East Zimbabwe Conference President, Pastor Chinoshava said he was inspired by the serious farming business at the President’s farm.

“We have seen a good project of the ankole beasts,” he said. “You are leading by example, what you speak is what you also do. You are a practical leader, after going around the farm, we now believe that yes, we can.” 

Pastor Sikhumbuzo Ndlovu, president of the SDA Zimbabwe West Conference, said the President was inspiring.

“It was a privilege for me to tour the farm, what I saw here, it was amazing, the maize, the soya beans, the cattle, if we can do this at Solusi we can go very far, as individuals it is also inspiring. Yes, we can also do it, yes, we can produce and go very far,” said Pastor Ndlovu during the farm tour that was led by President Mnangagwa’s son Emmerson Jnr.

As his tithe, President Mnangagwa gave the SDA Church 105 heifers, 100 tonnes of maize, while Elder Tagwirei gave the church six bulls that will be donated to the three unions that form the Adventist Church in Zimbabwe.

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