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Plumtree villagers cry for development


Plumtree villagers have expressed concern over lack of development in their area, which they say has led to youth delinquency due to unemployment.


They said although the place is situated next to the border, there is no meaningful development such as industries that can absorb the youth in the area, who end up engaging in sex work to earn a living.

Ntombiyabo Ndlovu said tenders for the development of the area are also given to people from outside the district. She said these people constructed buildings that are not durable.

“As parents, we want our children to grab those opportunities that come their way. As for tenders and job opportunities in Plumtree, first priority should be given to our children, not to have jobs such as security guards being given to people from out side the province,’’ she said.

The co-chairman of Bulilima Development Foundation, Tjiyapo Velempini lamented, the marginalisation of the province. He said they formed their foundation to uplift the standard of living of the people of Bulilima.

“We are concerned about the high mortality rate in the area due to lack of clinics. More health centres are needed so as to reduce the walking distance to clinics and hospitals,” he said.

“There is also poor infrastructure at schools, which does not attract the right calibre of teachers, hence, the low pass rate. This has seen a lot of children migrating to other countries after finishing Grade seven. We will stem this by introducing vocational colleges, because they can not pass Form Four, so they should acquire technical knowledge in order to be productive. We do not want to lose them to the diaspora.’’

Velempini said they want to improve livelihoods through sport academies and twinning with more established sport administrators and clubs to bring in capacity in terms of training and technical assistance.

He said there are cultural issues that can be utilised in creating a rural economy such as Luswingo Ruins, tourism, typical Kalanga dances and the San community.

Velempini said all these need to be commercialised.

He said they will resuscitate the Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (Campfire) programmes so that people and animals can live harmoniously, while Mabhongane dam will be rehabilitated.

“The Plumtree-Ndolwane roads are in a state of disrepair and need resurfacing so that they can service Maitengwe border post and the community, these roads are not commercially viable to attract public private partnership. This can be achieved through planning by both the State and the community,’’ Velempini said.

Chief Khandana (Michael Magutshwa) of Tshwankwa said there were a number of youths in the area who did not have jobs.

“The youth spend most of their time doing nothing. They are looking for money to go to neighbouring countries, which is also a challenge to us since we do not have money to assist them,’’ he said.

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