Minister challenges Matabeleland to embrace devolution

MATABELELAND must embrace devolution as it brings equality in development to all provinces and districts in the country through the equitable sharing of national resources, a Cabinet minister has said.

BY RICHARD MUPONDE

Speaking at a fund-raising ceremony for a community hall at Nyele Business Centre in Bulilima, Minister of State in Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga’s office, Evelyn Ndlovu, said the people of Matabeleland should submit projects which they wanted government to spearhead to develop the region.

She was standing in for Zanu PF spokesperson and Bulilima-Mangwe senator, Simon Khaya Moyo, who was supposed to be the guest of honour.

“I think you have been seeing that some regions have been developing faster and this region is lagging behind,” Ndlovu said on Saturday.

“President (Emmerson) Mnangagwa, after succeeding former President Robert Mugabe, took devolution as his development concept and put his foot on the pedal to implement it according to the Constitution. We are now sharing the national cake equally among all the provinces, depending on our projects.”

Ndlovu added: “Write down projects which you want government do for you in this area and they will be funded through devolution funds. You should not just cry without submitting your proposals for consideration by your province.”

Government has disbursed $5 million to Matabeleland South under the devolution fund.

She said districts’ Gross Domestic Products (GDPs) were a major driver to the national economy as sustainable income-generating districts feed into the national GDP.

“Find projects to do here. Men, you should be doing pen-fattening since this area is a cattle area. As for women, I will make sure that you are trained to bake bread at community level. I am also donating a chicken incubator for women clubs in this ward so that you hatch eggs for others and embark on road-runner rearing projects,” she said.

Bulilima West legislator Dingimuzi Phuthi, in whose jurisdiction the event was being held, urged villagers not to be lazy to the extent of only depending on government handouts, but embark on developmental projects.

“There are areas which used to farm extensively here and were bread baskets for districts such as Bhutshe, but today, nothing is happening. Fields have become grazing lands because the people are now telling themselves that they get government grain,” Phuti bemoaned.

“I am going to petition government not to give grain to people who are just seated, doing nothing. You should convert the power you used to put in farming and channel it to developmental projects like this hall and be given grain.”

Bulilima Rural District Council donated $3 000, Ndlovu 10 bags of cement, so did Phuti. Many other donations were also made by villagers, business people and diasporans for the building to reach roof level.

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