Rumbidzayi Zinyuke Manicaland Bureau
Manicaland has identified four major projects to be funded by Treasury under the Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP) next year in line with the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) which seeks to spur economic development and the attainment of an upper middle income economy by 2030.
NDS1, the Government’s economic blueprint running from 2021-2025, is anchored on devolution and decentralisation, as well as the prudent use of public resources.
Manicaland Provincial Development Coordinator Mr Edgars Seenza said the four projects, which have been termed “emotional projects”, would have a major impact on the lives of the people and their livelihoods.
“These are projects that have taken long to be implemented and our people had almost lost hope in so far as those projects are concerned,” he said.
“This is why we termed them emotional projects. The first project is the construction of the Nyamkwarara Bridge in Mutasa District. There is no bridge over the river and people in that area are not able to access facilities such as clinics. They are forced to get medical services from Mozambique.”
Once the bridge is in place, farming activities are expected to increase as the area has good soils.
The Osborne Dam irrigation scheme will also be funded under the initiative.
Construction of the dam was completed in 1995, but the giant reservoir has been lying idle, with very little economic activity taking place for almost two decades.
Villagers in surrounding communities have appealed on several occasions for Government to assist them in turning their area into a greenbelt through irrigation schemes.
Mr Seenza said completion of the irrigation scheme would assist in achieving this and bring financial independence for the villagers.
“The third project we have identified is the Birchenough Bridge-Murambinda Road which has been on the plan for years, but has never been completed. That road needs urgent attention and would benefit the people of Buhera a lot,” he said.
The rehabilitation of the Chipinge-Mt Selinda and Chako-Jersey road had also been prioritised.
Mr Seenza said the road was of great economic value as it linked Zimbabwe with Mozambique via the Espungabera border post.
Most of the produce that is exported from Chipinge district to the sea port of Beira is transported through that road.
“That narrow tarred road is almost non-existent in other sections and it is has huge potholes, but that is an important road,” said Mr Seenza.
“Tanganda Tea Company has actually appealed to President Mnangagwa to have that road fixed because they are bringing in a lot of produce from their estates using that road.
“Even the dairy farmers in that area are using the same road and there was general consensus that we need to add this road as an emotional project as it affects many people.”