Leonard Ncube, Victoria Falls Reporter
GOVERNMENT has started rehabilitating access roads to chiefs’ homesteads countrywide to improve accessibility to traditional leaders as well as enhance their dignity and development in communities.
The Chiefs’ Access Road Rehabilitation Programme is being implemented through the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme 2 (ERRP 2) and is part of Government’s Devolution and Decentralization agenda.
Under the ERRP 2, Government has rehabilitated roads in the country’s cities and towns.
The District Development Fund (DDF) will rehabilitate the roads.
Minister of State for Presidential Affairs in-charge of Implementation and Monitoring of Government Projects Dr Joram Gumbo will today launch the Matabeleland North chapter of the programme in Siachilaba, Binga where he will hand over a grader to DDF to kick-start works.
He will be accompanied by Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Richard Moyo, president of the Chiefs’ Council Chief Fortune Charumbira, other chiefs from the province and Government officials.
Minister Moyo yesterday said road infrastructure and access to key services such as clean water, health and education are key to the needs of traditional leaders and their communities.
This will enhance growth through development of other projects, he said.
“We are rolling out rehabilitation of roads to all chiefs’ homesteads in Matabeleland North. This is a Government programme being implemented through DDF and targeting all chiefs’ homesteads in the province and at national level. We will be commissioning a grader today with Minister Gumbo and work will start immediately,” said Minister Moyo.
He said this is a huge development and thanked President Mnangagwa for the support he is giving to chiefs.
Senator Chief Siansali of Binga said chiefs are a critical institution of Government as they provide a link to all Ministries and agencies.
“You will appreciate that chiefs’ homesteads are not only home but an institution of Government which enhances access to all Government ministries and agencies because all ministries are linked to chiefs. So it is very important that chiefs’ homesteads become very accessible. Some people might misconstrue this to say it benefits one person but it has to be understood that chiefs work with all ministries,” said Chief Siansali.
He said Government is obliged to give dignity to chiefs in terms of the country’s Constitution.
Some chiefs’ homesteads in the province are hardly accessible because of poor road network.
The poor roads are also costly to Government and the chiefs themselves because of the wear and tear on vehicles allocated to traditional leaders.
“We can’t have a situation whereby when people and Government officials visit chiefs they have to leave their vehicles far away because there is no access road or bridge.
“This is devolution at work and development is coming to village level and we are grateful to the Second Republic that this is happening now and will benefit all communities by enhancing access to every Government service that comes through traditional leaders. As we speak we are mobilizing communities to raise awareness about Covid-19 prevention so accessibility is key,” Chief Siansali said. — @ncubeleon.