Mat North res­i­dents call on Trea­sury to re­lease funds

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Na­tional News - Leonard Ncube Vic­to­ria Falls Reporter

PEO­PLE from Mata­bele­land North have al­leged a de­lib­er­ate ne­glect of cap­i­tal projects in the province by Trea­sury in the na­tional bud­get, a sit­u­a­tion they said marginalises the province.

Con­tribut­ing at the 2017 Na­tional Bud­get con­sul­ta­tion meet­ings in Lu­pane last Thurs­day and Vic­to­ria Falls yes­ter­day, par­tic­i­pants said Trea­sury has in the past an­nounced mea­gre al­lo­ca­tions for cap­i­tal projects, which were not dis­bursed.

In Vic­to­ria Falls, res­i­dents said they were tired of con­tribut­ing at con­sul­ta­tion meet­ings but with­out any re­sults in terms of al­lo­ca­tion.

Par­tic­i­pants, drawn from coun­cil­lors, res­i­dents, busi­ness rep­re­sen­ta­tives and ed­u­ca­tors, said “all” cap­i­tal projects, rang­ing from ed­u­ca­tional, health and roads in the province were at a stand­still be­cause of lack of fund­ing which should come from Trea­sury.

They con­curred on the need for a live­stock re­stock­ing fund, re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of Bu­l­away­oVic­to­ria Falls Road, up­grad­ing of clin­ics and set­ting up of mo­bile health cen­tres, set­ting up ir­ri­ga­tion schemes and re­ten­tion of part of rev­enue from nat­u­ral re­sources such as the Rain­for­est and game parks among oth­ers.

“The bud­get should look at in­fra­struc­ture that can make Lu­pane a town. The Govern­ment Com­plex, Pro­vin­cial Registry of­fice and pro­vin­cial hospi­tal are now white ele­phants be­cause they are not be­ing funded. The town has never been al­lo­cated funds ever since it came into ex­is­tence and we want money for these projects in the same man­ner other prov­inces ben­e­fit,” said Lu­pane Lo­cal Board chair­per­son Mrs Mon­ica Ng­wenya.

She called for fund­ing of the Gwayi-Shangani Dam and Binga Bor­der Post.

There were shock­ing allegations that Fight­ing Road, which con­nects Lu­pane to Kwekwe in Mid­lands and re­duces the dis­tance be­tween Harare and Lu­pane by 200km, is treated as a tarred road by Cen­tral Govern­ment when the road is not ma­noeu­vrable.

Lu­pane Dis­trict Ad­min­is­tra­tor Zachariah Jusa im­plored Govern­ment to re­vise some of its bu­reau­cratic poli­cies that he said marginalise the province. “We are con­cerned about some Govern­ment poli­cies and we also want spe­cial grants given to un­der­per­form­ing prospec­tive in­vestors re­duced. We want an eq­ui­table dis­tri­bu­tion of re­sources be­cause peo­ple are not ben­e­fit­ing from nat­u­ral re­sources in the province.

“Donga­muzi Clinic was al­lo­cated $230 000 three years ago but the money hasn’t come be­cause of bu­reau­cracy and cen­tral­i­sa­tion. I was shocked to learn that Fight­ing Road is listed as a tarred road when a 4x4 ve­hi­cle can’t even use the road. Govern­ment should au­dit all these projects be­fore al­lo­ca­tions are made,” said the DA.

Par­tic­i­pants also im­plored Trea­sury to al­lo­cate funds for the com­ple­tion of Lu­pane State Uni­ver­sity which they said is long over­due.

Ru­ral roads as well as the Bu­l­awayo-Vic­to­ria Falls Road are in a sorry state and a death trap as they are pot­holed and too nar­row thereby caus­ing nu­mer­ous ac­ci­dents and there is a need for spe­cial funds for that, par­tic­i­pants said.

“The Rain­for­est is a cash cow for tourism but we don’t ben­e­fit from it. We need 30 per­cent chan­nelled back to Vic­to­ria Falls for de­vel­op­men­tal projects and Trea­sury to set aside a fund to con­struct a pass­port of­fice here in Vic­to­ria Falls be­cause we are a bor­der town yet we can’t process travel doc­u­ments es­pe­cially for tourists who lose doc­u­ments or want to ex­tend their stay. They have to go to Harare,” said Vic­to­ria Falls Ward 9 Coun­cil­lor Somvelo Dlamini.

Beauty Moyo from Kachechete Ward out­side Vic­to­ria Falls called for a fund to com­pen­sate those who lose crops to wild an­i­mals which they don’t ben­e­fit from.

Cham­abondo Pri­mary School head­mas­ter Mr Phathug­walo Ma­suku said a big­ger chunk of the bud­get should be al­lo­cated to ed­u­ca­tion.

Mr Try­more Ndolo called for funds for con­struc­tion of a poly­tech­nic and vo­ca­tional train­ing cen­tre, which are not there in the province.

Par­tic­i­pants called for the es­tab­lish­ment of ir­ri­ga­tion schemes to tap wa­ter from the Zam­bezi River. They said in­stead of fund­ing paras­tatals, Govern­ment should ca­pac­i­tate health fa­cil­i­ties and schools.

Chair­man of the com­mit­tee Cde David Chap­fika said they noted sev­eral per­ti­nent is­sues raised like the state of roads, wild an­i­mals, lack of learn­ing fa­cil­i­ties and wa­ter in­fra­struc­ture for ir­ri­ga­tion among oth­ers. — @ncubeleon

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