Tawanda Mangoma in Chiredzi
Beneficiaries of the land reform programme should start complementing Government by participating in the development of communities in which they were settled.
Mr Roy Bhila, a prominent Chiredzi sugarcane farmer, who has invested close to $150 000 in various development projects in new resettlement areas of Chiredzi, said there was urgent need to develop roads, health and education facilities in the province.
Speaking during the launch of the Roy Bhila Foundation in Mkwasine recently, Mr Bhila said his family’s endeavour was to help develop resettlement areas in Chiredzi District. He lamented delays in some of the projects as a result of resistance from G40 members.
“I am humbled by the fact that the zanu-pf Government gave me this piece of land at which I am recording high sugarcane yields every season. To many, my help to the 24 wards of Chiredzi North constituency was viewed as a campaign ahead of the 2018 harmonised elections, which saw the G40 cabal expelling me and Cde (Farai) Msikavanhu from the party over our developmental stance,” he said. Mr Bhila said he decided to partner communities in building four clinics, which, however, remain closed.
“The foundation helped in the construction of a clinic in Ward 16 in partnership with Cde Msikavanhu. We built another in Ward 17, then Ward 20 and then Ward 24, but all these are our efforts to help communities, which are traveling for more than 20 kilometres to the nearest health centre,” he said.
The foundation also constructed six classroom blocks at Mark Kushinga Primary School in the district, including repairing several others, whose roofs were blown off by Cyclone Dineo-induced rains.
“We also helped livestock farmers, who have been complaining that water for their cattle was a major problem and we constructed a dam at Ruware, which will benefit about 20 000 cattle in the area,” he said. Mr Bhila said Government’s Command Livestock programme should also benefit villagers. The foundation is already in the process of constructing dip-tanks.
It has also bought a $12 000 electricity transformer for Matedzi Village, which had been off the grid for the past 15 years. Mr Bhila and his development partner, Mr Msikavanhu, also pledged to construct a $50 000 district office for war veterans in Chiredzi. In an interview with The Herald, Mr Msikavanhu said there was need to construct a decent office for the war veterans.
“We have asked for their plans and bill of quantities so that we contract a company to quickly work on the project,” he said.
“Our comrades cannot continue doing their business in a very small office while their stand is under-developed.” Chiredzi District war veterans secretary-general Cde Killiot Mukanya thanked the two farmers for assisting the association.
“We are very happy as war veterans to have children who remember our importance. We will avail all required information very soon for progress to start,” he said. Councillor for Ward 1 Cde Simbarashe Chibhememe also expressed his gratitude to the duo. Only a fool can criticise development, which improves the lives of the people,” he said.
“People of Chiredzi North needed roads and diesel for the grader, which was availed. We needed water and Bhila sunk boreholes, while constructing dams, which we know should be done by Government.” Clr Chibhememe said the clinics built through the Roy Bhila Foundation would bring relief to communities in Chiredzi North.