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Gumbo defends government projects

Local News
Joram Gumbo

Minister of State for Presidential Affairs in charge of implementation and monitoring, Joram Gumbo has claimed that President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s regime is seeking to develop key infrastructure in all provinces.

Mnangagwa has come under attack for allegedly marginalising Matabeleland provinces in terms of development projects in favour of Mashonaland provinces as it appears the southern region played second fiddle on the list of development initiatives in the country since 2021.

In the run up to the 2023 elections, Mnangagwa is banking on a long list of major infrastructural projects, including the upgrading of the Harare-Beitbridge Highway, which has gobbled billions in United States dollars and forced his regime to print money and weaken the local currency as annual inflation topped 280% in September.

According to an update of projects by Cabinet made in August, the Bulawayo metropolitan province got 69 projects, translating to 4% of the total number of projects while Matabeleland North and South got 12% and 5% of the project, respectively.

However, Gumbo said all provinces were being treated fairly.

“All provinces have almost the same projects be it roads, schools and health facilities,” he told NewsDay this week.

“Looking at the number of projects without values might also be misleading because you will find that we have two major dam projects in Matabeleland including the Gwayi-Shandani Dam which is a high value project whereas you might have 20 very small projects whose value is not even 10% of Gwayi -Shangani.

“President Mnangagwa has made deliberate efforts to develop Binga and you will find most ministries are doing something there.”

Gumbo said his office’s role was to monitor progress while line ministries did the actual implantation.

“When we are monitoring, we use scientific methods to sample,” he said, adding that greater attention was, however, paid to major scale projects.

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