Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Correspondent
NKULUMANE legislator Killian Sibanda has used his maiden speech in parliament to urge the executive to facilitate the resuscitation of Bulawayo industries.
Addressing the National Assembly on Tuesday, Cde Sibanda, who was elected MP last December, said lending rates by banks should be reviewed downwards as the current position frustrates business start-ups as demonstrated in the year 2015.
“The revitalisation of Bulawayo industries as outlined in ZimAsset should be given special attention as it is a prerequisite against brain drain, capacity underutilisation and growth prospects. The economy should align consumption with balance of payment where local procurement is preferred to imports. This will curb the influx of substantial goods and promote quality consumption. This is meant to protect local industry and products which in turn creates employment,” said Cde Sibanda.
He said the scrapping of illegal sanctions and equitable sharing of Government funds should contribute immensely in the restoration of “Bulawayo’s la gloire” as an industrial hub of the nation. Cde Sibanda said the revival of the city’s industries will curb the brain drain which has seen most professionals relocating to other countries.He said the government should tap into skills from youths as they have ideas that can transform the country.
“The future and the present lies with our young people who have unique ideas and exuberance. It is mandatory to empower our youths financially to enhance economic growth. This could be achieved by encouraging and funding entrepreneurial projects and training such as Empretec. Further, the setting up of a skills centre will also go a long way in helping our young people to attain self-actualisation,” said Cde Sibanda.
He said the informal sector needs government’s support as it has become a backbone of most families in light of economic challenges. On education, the legislator said there is a need to complete Mncumbathi Secondary School in his constituency to alleviate overcrowding in schools.
He said there was also a shortage of science laboratories which was affecting pupils who want to enrol at the National University of Science and Technology (Nust).
“There is a need to lobby for science laboratories to be built in all secondary schools to ensure an effective scientific foundation and further studies at our local university — Nust. The objective is to perpetrate the high literacy and numeracy rate of the nation,” Cde Sibanda said.