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‘Victoria Falls status a testament to development’

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PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday said the conferment of city status on Victoria Falls is another clear testimony of his administration’s commitment to development, the Daily News reports.

This comes as Victoria Falls, one of the country’s major tourist destinations, became the first city in Matabeleland North, and only the second after Bulawayo in the country’s three southern provinces, which include Matabeleland South.

Speaking at the occasion of the conferment of Freedom of the City of Victoria Falls, Mnangagwa said his administration was committed to implementation and completion of projects laid out in the Zambezi to Binga Corridor Strategic Development Plan.

Mnangagwa said this would see the establishment of vibrant and sustainable tourism projects in Binga, Sijalila and Mlibizi, among others on the Zambezi tourism corridor.

“It is indeed befitting given that this new city is our country’s premier tourism destination. The fact that this conferment of freedom of the city has been accorded to me under the auspices of a local authority constituted by opposition council members attest to the unique character of the leadership of this council and the people of Victoria Falls,” Mnangagwa said.

“It is equally a testimony of the strong inherent national spirit of unity among our people. As a young council, Icommend your wisdom.

Through this gesture, you have demonstrated that we are all Zimbabweans and what unites and bond us together isfar stronger than any issues that could ever divide us.

“In unity, peace, love and emboldened by the desire to defend, guard and advance our national interests, the successand prosperity of our country is merely a matter of time.”

With the new status, Victoria Falls would assume the prestige that is reserved for cities and set it as an investmentdestination with potential for more twinning relationships with other cities around the world.

Mnangagwa also challenged the city fathers to shun corruption. “At national level, my government is quickening the pace of development. In the 2021 National Budget we allocated $19,5 billion for devolution. This should see the development of the country through communities taking responsibility for their own development,” he said.

“I urge you to be prudent and wise in the manner you prioritise your projects and the utilisation of the resources allocated to the council.

Shun corruption and continue utilising the devolution funds to improve social service delivery such as education health, water and sanitation as well as roads and social amenities.

“Action dialogue and engagement are cardinal principles of the Second Republic and must be entrenched at every level.”

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