Pamela Shumba, Senior Reporter
THE Governor of Omaheke region in Namibia, Mr Festus Tulonga Ueitele, has hailed Zimbabweans for their innovation in the face of economic challenges, saying their creativity has helped them survive the illegal sanctions imposed on the country several years ago.
Governor Ueitele is in Matabeleland North province to tour capital projects as the two provinces prepare to sign memoranda of understanding (MoU) in various economic sectors.
The delegation, also comprising the Namibian Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Ms Balbina Daes Piennar, officials from local authorities and Government departments, toured a number of projects in Bubi District on Monday and proceeded to Umguza on Tuesday.
The Zimbabwean delegation, which has visited Omaheke region, is led by Minister of State for Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs Richard Moyo. Projects visited on Tuesday include Mjayeli Farm, McDonald Bricks, Randal Dairy Farm and Rosslyn Safaris.
In an interview after the tour, Governor Ueitele said he was extremely impressed by the commitment exhibited by Zimbabweans to sustain the economy and families.
“I’m extremely impressed by what I’ve seen in Matabeleland North, Zimbabwe. The environment is unbelievably peaceful and the people are hardworking. Zimbabweans are hands on and this makes it easy for them to sustain their families despite the endless challenges.
“We always hear negative reports from the media in Zimbabwe, Africa and around the world but I’m surprised that what we’re seeing on the ground is not what we hear from these people,” said the Governor.
He said the projects he had toured so far showed him that the people of Zimbabwe are hard working, committed and focused.
“I’ve learnt a lot and I wish I could have just 20 people in my country who are hardworking like Zimbabweans, we would definitely be far in terms of development.
“I urge the people of Zimbabwe to keep up the good work. The country has been under sanctions for almost 20 years now but we still see massive projects running. Such resilience is amazing and I must say I’m impressed,” said the Governor. He said when his counterpart, Minister Moyo and his delegation visited Namibia he couldn’t believe him when he mentioned the similarities of both countries.
“I’ve now seen the similarities in terms of vast land, cattle farming as well as other farming activities. The difference is that the people of Zimbabwe are hardworking and serious about development and they focus fully on their projects.
“Our aim as Omaheke region is to make sure that we learn from Matabeleland North and they also learn from us. We want to share knowledge and grow together,” said Governor Ueitele.
Zimbabwe, he added, attained independence 10 years before Namibia and it has assisted the neighbouring country in many ways. “We have doctors, lawyers, engineers and other professionals who have attended school here. We’ve learnt a lot from Zimbabwe and we intend to continue learning. The twinning process is therefore important for people in both countries for economic empowerment,” said the Governor.
He said there was no need for both countries to go to Asia or Europe for investment and trade purposes because they could drive about 1 000km to share knowledge and experiences. Governor Ueitele urged Zimbabwean businesspeople to invest in his region, saying the country was also open for business like Zimbabwe.
Advisor to the Governor Mr Pijoor Nganate commended the land reform programme and urged Zimbabweans to continue working hard and supporting their country.
Yesterday the two delegations toured projects in Lupane and will proceed to Binga and Hwange today while the last leg of the tour will be in Victoria Falls tomorrow. — @pamelashumba1