BY SILAS NKALA
Former speaker of Parliament Lovemore Moyo says the Matabeleland region continues to be marginalised with locals not benefiting from natural resources.
Moyo, who now fronts the opposition United Movement for Devolution party, claimed most of the conservancies in Matabeleland North were snapped up by senior army officials, who elbowed out locals.
The former MDC-T chairman made the remarks during a discussion forum organised by a pressure group known as Nkayi Community Parliament.
Moyo was one of the speakers alongside former Nkayi South MP Abednico Bhebhe and a South Africa-based businessman Maxwell Masina.
He said the marginalisation of Matabeleland was evident with the poor infrastructure and lack of opportunities for people in the region.
“It is clear to all of us, who travel to several places,” Moyo said.
“Firstly you look at the Bulawayo/Nkayi road; it is 41 years after independence.
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“Look at the Tsholotsho /Bulawayo road, look at the Bulawayo /Maphisa road all these are pointers that the region is marginalised when you compare with the Wedza/ Nyazura road, Gutu — Mpandawana/Zaka road and Murambinda/Gutu Mpandawana road.
“If you look at these road networks, from each district from Harare to these districts all of them have tarred roads.
“Then there are roads that feed to district networks, they are tarred, but look at the roads that are feeding Nkayi and Lupane.
“Look at how the Gwanda/Matopo road looks like.
“That road was allocated money during my first term of being an MP to be tarred and officially it’s tarred, but they decided to divert the budget and spent it elsewhere.”
He said roads connecting Plumtree in Matabeleland South and Tsholotsho in Matabeleland North were poorly maintained.
“To me that is a pointer of marginalisation, because once you deal with the infrastructure then you have dealt with the issue of development,” Moyo said.
“People will develop where it’s accessible, so that is an important pointer.”
He said the allocation of resources by central government was not fair.
“Of course if you look at the allocation of resources, the issue of farms, the issue of conservancies, If you look at the conservancies in Hwange, I think there is one or two people from Matabeleland who got them, out of a number, but the bigger number are army generals and others from Harare, who got the conservancies,” Moyo said.
“So it’s clear that in that lucrative area of conservancy, Matabeleland was excluded.
“There are a lot of such issues, look at even deployment to foreign missions which is very critical, of ambassadors and diplomats
“The deployment considered people from other regions and not from Matabeleland region out of close to 70 of them or more, and it shows that it is a marginalization on the international front.
“Our people are not there in international politics.”
Bhebhe said most of the mining concessions in the region should be owned by locals.