Mat South readies for devolution

Source: Mat South readies for devolution | The Herald August 13, 2019

Mat South readies for devolution
Minister Ncube

Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
The provincial leadership in Matabeleland South province has started working on a raft of measures to roll out the devolution concept to grow the province’s economy, which is anchored on mining, farming, tourism, energy and irrigation development, an official has said.

In a recent interview, Minister of State for Matabeleland South Provincial Affairs Abednico Ncube said they had since held a successful indaba with key economic actors from the area to strategise on a plan of action.

He said the programmes will be classified under short, medium and long term.

Minister Ncube said the province had since received $2,7 million for various capital projects that are being undertaken in all its local authorities.

“Recently, we successfully hosted a devolution conference on the 28th of February 2019 as a sensitisation strategy,” he said. “This conference also drew multiple investors who were not privy to Mat South investment opportunities.

Our local authorities also received funds to assist in district projects. The province is abound with investment opportunities in farming, mopani worms, livestock production, tourism, mining, energy and we also have key borders with Botswana and South Africa where economic activities are high.

“In addition, if we do proper planning we can reap more fruits in terms of irrigation-based farming considering that we have many water bodies to sustain such initiatives.”

Minister Ncube said some of the quick-win projects include the construction of new clinics and institutions of higher learning and irrigation development.

He said recently they opened Fumugwe Rural Health Centre, an institution which came up through the collaboration of locals and partners in the Diaspora.

“Some of the ongoing projects include the construction of the Gwanda State University, commercial farming by ARDA and resuscitation of all non-functional irrigation schemes to increase the output in terms of wheat, maize and sugar beans production,” said Minister Ncube.

“On other infrastructure we have the current modernisation of Beitbridge Border Post which will enhance the ease of doing business in line with the Government mantra and the envisaged Vision 2030.

“Further, we are working on a project to rehabilitate and construct new roads in most districts and major highways, including the dualisation of the Bulawayo-Beitbridge Road, West Nicholson-Mberengwa Road and Gwanda-Mphoengs Road.”

Minister Ncube invited investors to exploit opportunities in various economic sectors.

He said the community believed that devolution presented an opportunity to address the diversity of local needs.

“It carries promises of a more equitable system of sustainable economic development,” said Minister Ncube. The community is excited to be a part of the development of their areas. In some cases we are making our citizenry aware on how the Government is unwavering in its commitment to fully roll out the devolution programme. The growing desire for a fully devolved State is evident in our interactions with the community.

“They have a desire to enjoy fiscal autonomy, administrative autonomy and promotion of an effective multi-level governance system . . .  In a nutshell, our communities desire to fully participate in the development of their areas.”