Leonard Ncube in Binga
GOVERNMENT has fully embraced devolution as a prime driver of economic transformation through inclusive participation by all citizens who should benefit from natural resources in their localities, Vice President Kembo Mohadi has said.
Commissioning the Binga Community Craft Centre at Binga Centre on Friday, VP Mohadi challenged citizens to be involved in implementation of development programmes.
The craft centre was established in the early 1980s by the Binga Rural District Council as an initiative to capacitate women through self-help projects. At some point it had close to 10 000 members who included men and women who did wood carving and basketry under the Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development.
Membership dropped to less than 1 000 a few years ago resulting in Government last year chipping in to renovate the facility which is now picking up in terms of membership and business. “I’m greatly honoured to officiate at this Binga Craft Centre that went through renovation recently. Work was carried out through able participation of many stakeholders under the auspices of Women Affairs, Binga Rural District Council, Zimbabwe Defence Forces and beneficiaries themselves.
“This is a clear demonstration of partnerships which are not only a cornerstone of our development but also of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Number 17. Government has fully embraced the devolution of power policy as a prime driver of economic development hence I want to call upon other communities in Zimbabwe to emulate this programme, identify projects and pool resources to generate income for improvement of their livelihoods,” said VP Mohadi.
He said the Second Republic’s thrust is to ensure that communities determine their future and benefit from natural resources towards attainment of Vision 2030.
The VP said Zimbabwe is endowed with natural resources and cultures which if well-crafted and marketed can bring foreign currency to the country.
The craft centre tells the culturally rich story of Binga, a community whose development was derailed by colonialists who displaced them from Kasambabezi River (Zambezi) in which they had a symbolic attachment.
Effects of the displacement have remained as the Binga community remains bitter and feels marginalised.
VP Mohadi challenged every citizen to participate in developmental projects as well as to be vigilant and guard against corrupt tendencies.
He urged people in Binga to be part of the development narrative for the tourist district and help each other market their craftware and culture. “We are in Binga which is best described as a sleeping giant due to its resources which have not been tapped into. Let’s move away from the basket mentality and use resources around us. As for other communities, we have seen a practical model of development, let’s emulate by implementing it in our communities. We need to take-off through smart partnerships because our communities have capacity to sustain themselves and contribute to development,” he said.
VP Mohadi was referring to some non-governmental organisations that have over the years operated in the district handing out conditional goodies yet letting infrastructure such the craft centre fall apart.
He challenged stakeholders including Government departments to partner in marketing Binga as a tourist destination especially considering its rich culture and crafts.
Women Affairs Minister Sithembiso Nyoni called upon the Binga community to train youths in their culture to preserve the rich Tonga tradition.
Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Richard Moyo said the project is a clear testimony that Government is on course to achieving an upper middle-income economy status by 2030.
Also at the event were Minister of State in VP Mohadi office Davis Marapira, Women Affairs deputy Minister Jennifer Mhlanga, Chiefs Siansali, Siabuwa, Siachilaba, service chiefs and senior government officials. — @ncubeleon