King launches rural vision

2012-05-02 00:00

ZULU Monarch, King Goodwill Zwelithini has called on his people to write their own history instead of depending on others to do so for them.

The king was speaking during the official launch of the Ingonyama Rural Development Forum, held at the Royal Show Grounds yesterday. He urged the amakhosi to drive development in rural areas.

“We cannot allow for a situation where rural development is driven by the councillors alone in the areas that historically have always been under the rule of traditional leaders; however, we need councillors to respect amakhosi and work together in developing my people,” he said.

The king said last month he shared his dream for his nation with amakhosi and today he was launching it to the Zulu nation so that they could take it forward together.

The king said his vision for rural development would end poverty in rural areas, but he required everybody to work towards achieving that goal. “I am hungry when people are starving and I cannot be happy until they are well fed,” he said.

He said he has invited experts from different walks of life to shed their expertise on how they can develop the rural areas because these areas had been underdeveloped for a long time.

“I want this nation to set the trend for other African countries and the world at large on how to use land fruitfully to develop the nation,” said the King.

He called on all Zulu professionals to participate in the process of building the Zulu nation.

He said the time has come for his people to put down their weapons and focus on working towards a better future for his people.

“I launched this forum in Pietermaritzburg because all the MECs are based here so they will be able to get the message,” the king said.

He also spoke strongly against women and child abuse. “The Zulus are a dignified nation with respect, so we must end the scourge of rape that has tarnished the image of our nation,” he said, referring to a case of a 15-year-old boy who allegedly raped an eight-year-old girl from Gingindlovu, last week.

He warned that Zulus knew what used to happen to people who behaved in that manner in the days gone by. The ceremony was officially opened with a colourful song and dance by amabutho (warriors) and women clad in their traditional attire ululating in praise of the Zulu monarch.

The launch was a prelude of the three-day Rural Development Forum which will discuss ways of improving the lives of the communities in the rural areas. Board members of the Ingonyama Trust, traditional leaders and KZN political heavyweights were also present. The evening ended with a gala dinner where the king dined with business leaders from different sectors.

• thobani.ngqulunga@witness.co.za

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