Acting President John Nkomo has blasted people of Matabeleland, accusing them of laziness, but blaming it on marginalisation.
Nkomo, the topmost Zanu PF official from the region, added Matabeleland was full of people who lacked the initiative to develop the region, hence the belief that region was marginalised should be “consigned and put in history”.
He was speaking yesterday after a tour of Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Airport, where he revealed Zanu PF Bulawayo provincial chairman Isaac Dakamela, who was also present at the function, was always complaining to him about the marginalisation of the region.
“Can’t we consign this term and put it in history? Who do you want to do the job for you and who is marginalising you?” asked Nkomo, who is Zanu-PF’s vice-president and a businessman with interests in the region.
“It is just inertia and dragging your feet. This is your country and the resources are yours. If you are called upon to do work, you should not drag your feet.”
Nkomo said people from other regions come to work in Matabeleland after realising opportunities. He said he had visited Barclays Bank in Bulawayo with Metropolitan Province governor Cain Mathema, “and the man who authorises loans says they (Barclays) have been here for the past 100 years and have no intention of going anywhere, but the people have not been going there to get loans but say Bulawayo is marginalised.
“Consign it and say Bulawayo is being challenged. Some say ah, kunzima ko (it’s hard) in Bulawayo. You are short of ideas and because you don’t consult others who have ideas, you say ah kunzima (ah, it’s difficult),” said Nkomo.
Ironically, speaking at the same occasion, Transport minister Nicholas Goche lamented delays in the implementation of the airport project. He said the project, initially meant to spruce up the airport in 2002, was scheduled to last eight months, “but it has taken nine years”.
Goche said during the first seven years of the project, it was delayed by lack of funding.
“Initially the project suffered shortages in fuel supplies and cement. Management interventions led to the importation of steel from South Africa and special arrangements with cement suppliers.”
He said he had a recent discussion with Finance minister Tendai Biti who guaranteed that funds would be released for the completion of the project.
Commenting on the project, Nkomo said: “Many people will say we failed, but I have always tried to tell my friends that there is no such thing as failure but delayed success.”