THE transformative leadership of President Mnangagwa is being felt in Matabeleland region where the Second Republic is scaling up implementation of several high impact development projects.
With only about three years in power, stakehold ers say President Mnangagwa has exhibited higher commitment to driving meaningful economic turnaround despite the continued imposition of sanctions and disruptive external factors such as Covid-19.
Key infrastructure development projects in Matabeleland region such as the multi-million Gwayi-Shangani Dam project and Ekusileni Hospital among several others, which have been in limbo for many years, are now receiving intense attention under the new dispensation.
New energy development projects aimed at making Zimbabwe a net exporter of electricity in the short to medium term are at various stages of implementation in Matabeleland North province.
In line with climate change mitigation ideals, the region is also being earmarked for food security under the irrigation development drive and livestock rebuilding programme, which are expected to impact positively on the industry revival and job creation.
The progress being achieved so far has been made possible under the on-going policy reforms being undertaken by the Second Republic, beginning with the short-term Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) in 2018, which was succeeded by the National Development Strategy (NDS 1).
Bulawayo Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister, Judith Ncube, said President Mnangagwa was touching and changing the lives of ordinary citizens on a daily basis.
“We celebrate his (President) leadership in a very big but humble way. We are soon to start receiving water from Gwayi-Shangani Dam and we expect that by year end the dam will be completed and by the end of next year we would be receiving water from Gwayi-Shangani,” she said.
Minister Ncube said when Bulawayo suffered loss of lives last year, particularly in Luveve following a water crisis, President Mnangagwa intervened by directing the Zimbabwe National Water Authority and the City of Bulawayo to harness water from Nyamandlovu Aquifer and Epping Forest.
“As a result, we are getting 20 megalitres per day from Nyamandlovu and Epping Forest. Ekusileni Medical Centre is a testament of President Mnangagwa’s commitment to serving the interest of the people,” said the minister.
“There is also United Bulawayo Hospitals Orthopedic Centre, which will treat children with several disabilities freely. This is a milestone that we should celebrate.
“Even the City Council run Thorngrove Infectious Diseases Hospital had been seriously dilapidated but has been rehabilitated. We also have a state-of-the-art Covid-19 centre at United Bulawayo Hospital Old Bartley’s Memorial Block.”
Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister, Richard Moyo, said President Mnangagwa has shown aggression in developing infrastructure in his province.
“The previously neglected Lupane Provincial Hospital is being worked on among other projects. We have the Gwayi-Shangani Dam, nothing tangible was being done on it until President Mnangagwa came to power,” said Min Moyo. “The dam has been in the pipeline since 1912. There is a lot of work being done on the roads across the province.
While some of the projects may not be completed overnight, slowly but surely, we are making progress.”
Minister Moyo made reference to power generation projects and said the 600MW Hwange Unit 7 and 8 expansion would be a game changer. He also said devolution projects were transforming local authorities where schools, clinics are being constructed.
“All these works are a result of President Mnangagwa’s astute leadership and we believe that if he is given another five-year mandate, the country will not be the same again as far as development is concerned,” he said.
Matabeleland South Provincial Minister, Abednego Ncube said President Mnangagwa’s leadership was assisting drought-prone Matabeleland South to achieve food security.
“The new political dispensation is transforming Matabeleland South. We were previously marginalised but through his leadership, the province has started to develop,” he said.
“We are a drought prone province and he has revived several irrigation projects, which will contribute to improved food security.
“We have Tuli-Manyange Dam, which has been on the drawing board for more than 50 years.
‘‘President has since released funds and contractors are busy on the ground and would have water pipelines to support Chief Mathe’s area in Gwanda, Manama and Guyu.”
Minister Ncube said work on the construction of Gwanda State University has commenced as proof that President is committed to equalising opportunities for national development.
He also said the capacitation of the Agricultural Rural Development Authority (Arda) farms in Matabeleland South was impacting positively on rural livelihoods.
Beitbridge East Member of the House of Assembly, Albert Nguluvhe said President Mnangagwa has done well in steering infrastructure development in the border district.
“Beitbridge town will never be the same again.
‘‘Through his leadership the border post, which had become a nightmare for travellers and transporters is being transformed into a world-class port that facilitates smooth movement and will boost regional and international trade,” he said.
“There were a lot of challenges there some related to infrastructure and the new look border will be user friendly.”
The legislator said the US$300 million border post upgrade project would create more jobs for locals during construction works, post upgrade as well as widen services opportunities for the local business community.
Youthful entrepreneur Mr Samuel Chimere from Matabeleland South said:
“The new leadership under President Mnangagwa has facilitated investment opportunities through the ease of doing business, which is good for enhancing employment creation.”
Chief Masendu from Bulilima District in Matabeleland South Province also said significant development has been recorded under the leadership of President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
He said a huge change was being felt in the lives of ordinary people who have harvested big under the Intwasa/Pfumvudza programme.
“We celebrate with him as a nation and we are pleased by the development projects he has spearheaded in particular in Matabeleland South Province,” said the traditional leader.
“Schools and clinics have been built using devolution funds. Some work is also being done to improve roads and construct bridges.
“The Intwasa/Pfumvudza programme has helped to improve harvest that farmers were getting. A lot of our people were losing hope in agriculture because of poor rains but there has been improvement because of the programme,” he said.