Matabeleland North reaps devolution fruits 

Source: Matabeleland North reaps devolution fruits | The Herald

Matabeleland North reaps devolution fruits
President Mnangagwa

Leonard Ncube
Victoria Falls Reporter
THE devolution agenda is bearing fruit, especially in Matabeleland North where communities have seen significant gains as the devolution budget funds new clinics, schools and equipment.

Addressing Zanu PF supporters at a Presidential star rally in Siabuwa, Binga, on Saturday, President Mnangagwa said the Second Republic was pushing the devolution agenda and $42,5 billion was set aside for this year.

Matabeleland North will get $3,2 billion distributed among the local councils.

Already, schools, clinics, roads and other projects have been constructed in the province.

President Mnangagwa said Binga in particular, a previously marginalised area, was set to get its first ever nursing school and vocational training centre, while a decent border post will be built in the area.

Chiefs, youths and women are set to be empowered after Government availed 31 fishing rigs which the President is set to commission early next month.

The district will also be allocated four Zupco buses to ease transport challenges and cut transport cost. “Under the Second Republic, we introduced the devolution policy so that part of the national funds goes to provinces and districts,” said President Mnangagwa.

“As a country, we have $42,5 billion which is going to devolution. Here in Matabeleland we have given $3,2 billion and that money goes to construction of schools, clinics, dip tanks so that our livestock is well managed.

“Again, you want a vocation training school centre in the district, let me assure you that you shall have your vocational school centre in the district built.”

President Mnangagwa said clinics were being built in several areas of Binga.

“I am told there are no science laboratories and computers,” he said. “We brought computers for Siabuwa High School. Today we are giving you four brand new Zupco buses.

“For 20 years tell me what you were given by MDC. We are busy fixing roads through the District Development Fund, they are not leaving the district. We have given them an instruction that at every chief’s homestead there should be proper road, borehole and solar.”  President Mnangagwa said Lupane Provincial Hospital, whose construction had failed to take off for many years, was shaping up and will be the biggest provincial hospital in the country.

He implored youths to embrace programmes being implemented by the ruling party through Government, especially the Presidential Heifer and Fisheries programme.

As an indication of the success of Government programmes, President Mnangagwa spoke about some households that are farming at Bubi-Lupane Irrigation Scheme, who were funded with $265 000 each last season.

He reiterated that no one will die of hunger, adding that the Government was in the third year of constructing dams for food security.

In Binga, plans are also underway to construct market places using devolution funds.

On Friday, President Mnangagwa officiated at the ground breaking ceremony to mark start of construction of the US$48 million Deka water pipeline before commissioning the 5MW solar power plant in Cross Mabale and touring Lake Gwayi-Shangani, which are some of the major projects happening in the province.

Some of the water from the dam will be used by people in Binga, Lupane and Hwange for domestic and irrigation, with about 10 000ha land set aside for irrigation.

A 10MW hydropower plant will use the dam and schools and communities around will benefit from this capacity.

Matabeleland North Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Richard Moyo, said the devolution agenda had resulted in improvements and the rehabilitation of infrastructure in the province.

“Binga’s development has been stalled over the years because the electorate voted for opposition,” said Minister Moyo. “However, this is set to change as the people of Binga have seen and appreciate the various socio-economic programmes being implemented by the Second Republic.

“They know that the New Dispensation through Vision 2030 wants to leave no place and no-one behind in development.”

Clinics, hospitals, piped water systems and road construction are being implemented through devolution.

In agriculture, there has been accelerated development through Government interventions including mechanisation, restocking and development of irrigation schemes which have improved lives of various communities.

“We appreciate that your Government is availing $400 million to ensure that the Bulawayo Kraal Irrigation Scheme is speeded up, as irrigation is the only way to counter negative effects of climate change,” he said.

Minister Moyo said the emergency road rehabilitation programme had resulted in the improvement of the road network and reopening of blocked or damaged roads.

About US$29,5 million has already been availed by the Second Republic for rehabilitation of some of the major roads in the province, particularly state roads linking the seven administrative districts.

Some of the main roads being rehabilitated are Bulawayo-Victoria Falls, Kamativi-Binga, Bulawayo-Nkayi-Gokwe and Bulawayo-Tsholotsho.

Minister Moyo expressed concern on the growing number of non-governmental organisations operating especially in Binga where they give handouts to citizens, thereby fuelling laziness.