Auxilia Katongomara, Chronicle Reporter
MOST Government departments are expected to relocate to Lupane, the provincial capital of Matabeleland North in August as construction works are nearing completion, an official has said.
A number of departments have been operating from Bulawayo as offices and houses in Lupane are still under construction.
Speaking on the sidelines of a tour of major projects in Lupane district yesterday, Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs Minister Cde Richard Moyo said most of the projects under construction are nearing completion.
“It’s important for us to move here that’s why we are making follow ups on these projects which are delaying the relocation from Bulawayo because we now want to work from here.
“We have scenarios where people from Binga or Nkayi have to go to Bulawayo seeking assistance. It is expensive so we really need to move closer to the people,” said Cde Moyo.
He said he was working to ensure that the projects are completed by engaging Treasury so that the relocation exercise is done before year end.
“We are trying to push through my office for Government to complete all these projects so that we can come and work closer to the people whom we serve.
“From what the people on the ground are saying, the projects are at different stages but at most they said they would be complete in four months.
So we can give ourselves maybe an extra two months so that they can finalise. We are looking forward to moving here in August, all things being equal,” Cde Moyo said.
He said his vision was to see service provision being availed to the people in their respective districts.
“Services have to be closer to the people. For instance the registry officials are now operating from here and are issuing birth certificates from here but some officers are stuck in Bulawayo because the offices and houses are not yet complete,” said Cde Moyo.
The Provincial Minister yesterday toured the site of the 2,2 million mega litre water reservoir under construction.
The reservoir is expected to service 3 700 households and alleviate water challenges caused by power challenges by supplying water for at least a week during power outages.
Cde Moyo also toured the civil servants houses where 19 housing units for departmental heads have been completed and are awaiting electrification.
He also toured the Lupane Provincial Hospital site where he was apprised of challenges.
Treasury allocated $5 million for the construction of the hospital whose construction began more than a decade ago.
He also toured the Lupane State University, Government Complex and the water purification site.
“We went to see the reservoir. Many people were complaining about the water problems in Lupane that the 2 million mega litre tank will ensure that even if there is no power for five days, the reservoir will ensure water supply for at least seven days.
“We also went to the Minister’s house. When the offices are complete, I have to move here and it is almost complete.
“We also went to the Government Complex, it’s almost done; what is left is electrification of offices. They said in about four months they will be ready for use,” said Cde Moyo after the tour.
“We went to see the hospital premises, it worries us as Mat North because construction of the hospital began in 2004 and work stopped in 2007 but we understand that money was being released by Treasury and going back without anyone spearheading the project.
“We want to try and follow up to see what we can get to kick start the project again.”
Cde Moyo said people from Binga, Nkayi and Hwange and other areas should be referred to the provincial hospital which is in their midst, hence they were looking forward to the institution’s completion.
He said the visit to Lupane State University hostels was necessitated by social media reports that eight students were sharing a single room which was not true.
“We also went to Lupane State University because we saw some messages circulating on social media that students are staying eight per room. So we came to see if it’s true and we have realised that they are sharing in fours and threes.
This is however, necessitated by the delay in the completion of the male hostels which are now only requiring electricity. If electricity is connected the number of students sharing per room will decrease to two per room,” said Cde Moyo.
Minister Moyo was accompanied by Matabeleland North Provincial Administrator Ms Latiso Dlamini and other departmental heads from different Ministries.