Kwekwe converts beer hall into rehabilitation centre
Patrick Chitumba, [email protected]
Kwekwe City Council has begun a process of converting one of its idle beer halls into a state-of–the-art rehabilitation centre in response to the surge in drug and substance abuse, especially among the youth.
Town clerk Dr Lucia Mnkandla confirmed the development yesterday and said the local authority was using part of the $51,3 million devolution funds to fund the project.
Drug and substance abuse has become a global concern and in Zimbabwe President Mnangagwa revealed in April that $500 million has been availed under the drug and substance abuse mitigation fund as part of efforts to speed up high-impact activities in the fight against the vice.
The President was officiating at the inaugural Economic Development Conference towards a drug-free nation for the attainment of Vision 2030 that was held at the Zimbabwe International Exhibition Centre in Bulawayo.
“This year we were allocated $51,3 million and we have been embarking on a lot of projects, some are nearing completion and some have been completed,” said Dr Mnkandla.
“For example, we have roads rehabilitation, we have Mbizo 21 Primary School classroom block, which we are constructing and is nearing completion. We also have Amaveni Drug Rehabilitation Centre.
“We felt we could convert one of the old beer halls, which was just lying idle into a drug rehabilitation centre. This is important because as a local authority we need to respond to the drug and substance abuse scourge bedevilling the local authority and the country at large.”
Dr Mnkandla said this in an interview on the sidelines of the recent meeting of chief executive officers, secretaries from local authorities and District Development Coordinators (DDCs) with the Minister of Midlands for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Owen Ncube in Gweru.
She said finding the right drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre is an important part of recovery.
Drug rehabilitation is the process of medical or psychotherapeutic treatment for dependency on psychoactive substances such as alcohol, prescription drugs, and street drugs such as cannabis, cocaine, heroin or amphetamines.
The cost of drug rehabilitation in Zimbabwe ranges from US$500 to US$2 000 per month, depending on the facility and services provided
“We want to provide a facility to assist the youth and those who are in need of rehabilitation. The services will be affordable and within reach. So, as a local authority we felt we should take the lead in curbing drug and substance abuse,” said Dr Mnkandla.
She said the council has also converted one of the biggest beer halls in Kwekwe, which used to be known as Garandichauya into an Infectious Disease Hospital using devolution funds.
“This hospital doesn’t cater for Kwekwe District alone but the province as a whole. We didn’t have an anchor service to assist people who have infectious disease. This is now open to the people in the province in the spirit of the devolution agenda,” said Dr Mnkandla.
Kwekwe City Council has embarked on a number of milestone projects, which have transformed lives following the disbursement of devolution funds.
Since 2019, the council has embarked on a number of breakthrough projects that have benefited the local community.
Other completed projects include the refurbishment of Mbizo 7 houses, the construction of Prince Park market, the farmers market and the refurbishment of the water works, among others.
Meanwhile, Minister Ncube told the local authorities heads and the DDCs that the Second Republic remains resolute in moving forward the national vision of attaining an upper middle-income society by 2030.
In order to achieve desired results, he said, planning and programming must now shift from the routine local authority service delivery approach to the whole economy and society approach.
He noted that all activities being carried out by all the Government agencies and local authorities in the Midlands should be in sync with the President’s vision.
“Accordingly, the role of local authorities must expand in the context of devolution to being a facilitator and enabler of economic development as provided for in our Vision 2030 and NDS1,” he said.
“We must create a harmonious working relationship that creates synergies at all levels of Government as well as the private sector…practical and inclusive strategies to promote investment, operationalise the ease of doing business agenda must be clearly established.”
Minister Ncube said each local authority must know its fiscal capacity and must strategically focus to maximise growth from its competitive advantages.