Modi pulls out all the stops to woo voters

Zimbabwe’s Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce, Rajeshkumar Modi has stepped up his political campaign to boost his chances of winning the Bulawayo South constituency by establishing a youth innovation hub and a mobile computer lab for underprivileged children in the city.

Modi, a businessperson, won Bulawayo South in 2018, while representing the ruling Zanu PF party, defeating the then-main opposition party -MDC Alliance with 5 752 votes.

In the Zanu PF primaries this year, Modi emerged uncontested for the same constituency seat. 

Speaking on how he uses innovation to improve his competitiveness at an evening reception for a South African delegation visiting the 63rd edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) in Bulawayo on Tuesday, Modi announced the establishment of a youth innovation hub. 

“I launched an innovation hub for the youth of Bulawayo. It started last week and will be training youth with different skills and acting,” he said.

The deputy minister added that he was also going to launch a mobile computer laboratory in a month’s time. 

“Recently I am working on a mobile computer lab powered by solar. It will be ready in a month’s time. We will take it to different areas particularly in western areas so that the underprivileged kids can get to use the computer,” Modi said.  

Modi noted that technology is a very important tool nowadays and applied the government’s mantra of ‘leaving no one behind.’

“We don’t want to leave anyone behind, that’s why we set up that youth innovation hub and computer mobile,” said the deputy minister.

Meanwhile, Bulawayo Deputy Mayor, Mlandu Ncube, welcomed the delegation of the Trans Limpopo Spatial Development Trust including members of the Limpopo province to the ZITF, saying their presence cemented relations with their sister town, Polokwane municipality.

“The city appreciates the hosting of the ZITF, which provides an opportunity for business and non-governmental organisations, government parastatals and international organisations to meet and set up major investment projects,” he said. 

“The hosting of the ZITF also provides ideas to make sure we compete in the global market.”

The theme for this year’s ZITF is ‘Transformative Local Competitiveness,’ which the deputy mayor said was in line with the aims of rest of world that sought to transform and innovate so communities can meet developmental plans

“The City of Bulawayo is historically known as the industrial hub and the new developmental agenda is creating an ideology that we need to transform and innovate the industries that built Bulawayo,” Ncube said.

He noted that for Bulawayo’s growth, the local authority was taking note of a number of economic opportunities that are necessary for the city’s development agenda 

“Our stand at the ZITF pavilion is showcasing local innovation in the city’s operational programmes in our bid to compete in the global economy. We are showcasing projects in water and sanitation, rural-urban regeneration, sports economy, culture and tourism and geospatial technology among others,” said the deputy mayor.

“Also exhibiting with us is the Bulawayo Junior City Council, which has an exciting programme developed using robotics and artificial intelligence. This is an indication of knowledge which our youth in the city have in innovating developing programmes for the future.”

The deputy mayor also welcomed the Polokwane municipality,  with the rest of the Limpopo province, saying the two will continue to grow and develop the sister’s city relation to benefit their communities.

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