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THE recovery of the agriculture sector this year bodes well for the successful implementation of Zim-Asset, Acting President Joice Mujuru has said.

Zim-Asset — Government’s five-year economic blueprint up to 2018 — aims to achieve sustainable development and social equity anchored on indigenisation, empowerment and employment creation on the back of judicious exploitation of the country’s abundant human and natural resources.

The results-based blueprint is built around four strategic clusters namely: Food Security and Nutrition Social Services and Poverty Eradication Infrastructure and Utilities and Value Addition and Beneficiation.

As such, the envisaged bumper harvest bodes well for the food and nutrition cluster as it ensures national food security.

Addressing mourners at the burial of national hero Brigadier-General John Zingoni at the National Heroes Acre in Harare yesterday, the Acting President said the “unparalleled” agriculture season was evidence that the economy– long battered by illegal Western sanctions — was on the recovery path.

Brig-General Zingoni (60), whose Chimurenga name was Tichatonga Brooker Chiwawa, died from a heart ailment last Friday at Thornhill Air Base Hospital in Gweru.

“The 2013-14 agricultural season has just witnessed a very successful agricultural recovery, unparalleled in my view,” Acting President Mujuru said.

“As you know, food security and nutrition is a key leg of Zim-Asset. That has now been realised in the first year of this new programme. Let us sing, sing a little for ourselves.

“If one realises that this economy leans on agriculture, it should be clear we may be witnessing the beginnings of recovery.”

Government, she said, would continue revisiting its policies to esnure the spur economic growth and development.

“Above all, we continue to create space for you and me to pursue opportunities. Admittedly, it is still too early to have results, but definitive steps are being undertaken.

“Dear citizens, comrades and friends, we must see and grasp these opportunities as we march forward with life full of confidence and hope for a better future.”

Acting President Mujuru said Zimbabweans – not outsiders – would develop the country, and unity was critical to achieving that goal.

She said freedom fighters like Brig-Gen Zingoni fought so that Zimbabweans could assume full responsibility for themselves.

“The war years taught us a key slogan: ‘Iwe neni tine basa’. It was and continues to be a slogan of work of self-application. Even when things were so hard, we stood by that slogan. It gave us inspiration and propelled us to victory. Let the same slogan continue to do the same as we march into the future.

“Today as we bury Cde Zingoni let us all pledge ourselves to a new outlook, a positive outlook of embracing challenges and generating solutions. That is the mark of a dignified people, a dignified nation.”

Acting President Mujuru said Brig-Gen Zingoni had a “patriotic heart”, leaving a promising medial career to join the liberation struggle at the age of 22 in 1976.

“The four years before 1980 were years of close encounters and greater personal danger,” she said. “He bore it all with a brave, patriotic heart. Those who lived under arms will tell you four years is a lifetime.

“Anything could have happened indeed much just short of death happened just before John’s tender years. Close friends and comrade-in-arms perished in that war: from enemy bombs and bullets to diseases and all sorts of ailments, accidents and many nameless mishaps.

“That war brought all manner of dangers and risks and it took brave cadres like Cde John who bore the brunt of this terrible war.”

At Independence, she said, instead of going back to the medical field, Cde Zingoni remained in the military and rose through the ranks to become a grigadier-general.

She said his valiant character was shown when he assisted Frelimo fighters against banditry in Mozambique.

“The values which he had helped forge and commission by way of Zimbabwe’s freedom and independence needed to be won for other people, other countries,” said the Acting President.

“True, the sister Republic of Mozambique had won its freedom and independence, but all that was soon threatened by a sponsored reactionary war of naked banditry. Cde Zingoni went to fight in that war of aggression alongside his Frelimo comrades.

“This he did so that the gains of freedom in that country would not be reversed, indeed so that our own vital interest would not be endangered. He did not tell himself one war was too many. Duty called and as a committed loyal soldier he sprang to the defence of his needy and fraternal neighbour.”

She said the decorated soldier also went to the Democratic Republic of Congo, when that country came under severe challenge from surrogate forces.

“This is the compendious story which the gigantic life of this man lying in that small casket tells and challenges us to emulate,” she said. “Cde Zingoni lived for a noble cause, noble values and delivered both in ways that challenge us who live the country he helped liberate.”

Acting President Mujuru said history was made by people who believed in themselves.

“Ask Cde Zingoni and all those who survived the war. They will tell you that things can get worse and really bad. But it takes only us, the people of Zimbabwe in the driving seat, to turn that around and make the country what we want it to be. History is made by people who put the shoulder to the wheel.”

Brig-Gen is survived by his wife and three children.

Source : The Herald