Fungai Lupande-Mashonaland Central Bureau
Mashonaland Central has emerged the biggest winner in the Government’s devolution agenda with several classroom blocks completed and upgraded in all the eight districts, while clinics were refurbished and new ones constructed within a short space of time.
With $19,5 billion allocated to the province for this year, marginalised and underdeveloped communities like Mbire are catching up on development.
Rural district councils are improving their service delivery.
Mbire district was topping in child marriages.
This was mainly attributed to few schools and long distances to learning institutions.
The district is making strides in building new schools.
Mbire RDC chief executive officer, Mr Claudious Majaya, said long distances to school, wild animals and physical barriers like rivers have also fuelled school drop outs and child marriages in the district.
Child marriages are unique in the sense that they are among peers, teenagers who are tired of travelling long distances to school, dropping out and deciding to marry each other and start a family.
This year Mbire Rural District Council (RDC) has embarked on a school construction overdrive to address this challenge.
About $12 million of devolution funds allocation this year was dedicated towards school’s construction with three new primary schools almost complete and ready for use next year.
Mbire RDC chief executive Mr Claudious Majaya said, “This year we received about $38 million devolution funds and we have channelled the money towards building new schools and additional blocks at old school. Our objective is to reduce the distance travelled by learners,” he said.
“We are in the lower part of Guruve and it’s a new district, we started functioning in 2006. The upper part of Guruve was benefiting from Government funds and programmes. We are the first district to exhaust devolution funds because we have embarked on a school construction and upgrading.
“We are also constructing teacher accommodation. We made a resolution and partnered with World Vision who are providing building material and the community is mobilising locally sourced materials like sand and stones.
“Our focus now is to develop schools. One ward in Mbire can stretch to 26 kilometres. Our primary objective is to construct two secondary schools in each ward. We will then place additional schools depending on the distance learners are travelling.”
In Kanyemba, Mariga village the RDC has partnered the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to build a semi-detached house which girls child can use as a boarding facility.
“We don’t want the girl child to be disadvantaged by travelling long distances. Eventually when we have a secondary school in Mariga the house will be used as teacher accommodation,” he said.
The Provincial Education Director, Mrs Naomi Chikosha, said Mariga Primary School and Chapoto secondary school are the two major projects in Mbire.
“At Chapoto Secondary School we are constructing boarding facilities to accommodate learners who travel long distances. Upgrading and construction of new schools are ongoing across the province to reduce distances travelled by learners,” she said.
The provincial development coordinator Mr Timothy Maregere said devolution policy is progressing very well in Mashonaland Central and the programme has brought development to communities and districts.
“Devolution recognises the right of communities to manage their own affairs and to further their own development with various tiers of Government complementing each other in providing efficient and effective service delivery to the citizenry,” he said.
“Devolution is a sign of deep commitment by the second republic to implement devolution as enshrined in the Constitution and the Vision 2030 agenda which oblige the Central Government to devolve more powers, functions and funds to the sub-national tiers of government.
“Devolution agenda is transforming our province into a vibrant special economic and export processing zone that will trigger economic growth and development.”
Mr Maregere said devolution is enhancing hard work, teamwork, accountability and efficient delivery of public services to people in line with the objectives of the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) and Vision 2030 of becoming an upper middle-income society by 2030.
He added that devolution is spearheading development and bringing decision making to the very place where implementation of plans, polices, programmes and projects are taking place.
In Rushinga tremendous development has happened in schools and health services development this year.
The Rural District Council managed to acquire tipper truck for road construction at the tune of $3 446 075.
Construction of teacher accommodation, which will accommodate four families at Chitepo Primary School and Mazowe Bridge secondary school is complete.
The school now has two staff houses.
At Nyamazizi Primary School Marymount Secondary School and Nyamanyanya Secondary School a two classroom block is complete and the RDC also bought 60 chairs and desks for each schools.
Rushinga is embattled with water shortages. To ease the water crisis, the local authority embarked on borehole drilling and rehabilitation for the benefit of over 77 000 people in the district.
Turning to health services construction of Chomutukutu Health Centre at the tune of $ 2 457 000 is complete with minor touch ups in plumbing being finalised.
The clinic will benefit over 5 000 people.
At the same time the construction of Ganganyama nursing house is complete.
Rushinga RDC also constructed Mukosa police base using devolution funds.
In Mt Darwin, Pfura Rural District Council chief executive Mr Stanslous Nyachowe said renovation of two classroom blocks with two classes each at Date Secondary School, Mukoma Primary School and Kapanda Primary School were completed this year.
With people with disabilities in mind, the RDC also constructed a 22 compartment wheelchair friendly toilet at Mount Darwin bus terminus used by over 600 people daily.
Construction of Mt Darwin bus terminus is work in progress.
At Dotito bus terminus the local authority renovated a passenger waiting shed using devolution funds.
Devolution funds at Pfura RDC did not only attend to education and health care services, but also saw the construction of Museka Bridge which will benefit 124 000 people.
The bridge is complete and functional.
The RDC also bought a Nissan NP 300 vehicle at the cost of $589 000 for easy implementation and monitoring of devolution projects.
Meanwhile, a backhoe loader was bought for road equipment capitalisation.
Apart from the devolution projects, this year the province was excited about commencing construction work on Semwe Dam in Rushinga among other dams across the province.
Semwa Dam has a capacity of 260 million cubic meters of water and is capable of irrigating 12 000 hectares of land.
The dam has a capacity to produce 17 kilowatts of electricity.
The Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) corporate communications and marketing manager Mrs Marjory Munyonga said they were implementing four major dam projects in Mashonaland Central.
“The dam projects are aimed at improving water security in the province and assist in the attainment of food security and water security for its urban centres, growth points and rural service centres,” she said.
“These projects are Semwa Dam, Dande Dam and Tunnel, Silverstroom Dam and Bindura Dam. Semwa Dam will also act as a source of raw water for Rushinga.”
She said Bindura Dam, with a capacity of 100 million cubic metres is also under construction and will supply raw water to Bindura, which for years has been reliant on Mwenje Dam.
She added that Dande Dam and Tunnel is the third project and has a capacity of 160 million cubic meters, and is meant to hold water sufficient to irrigate at least 4000 hectares of land while also capable of generating 3,6 megawatts of electricity.
“Silverstroom Dam is the last project and the dam has the capacity 140 million cubic meters and can produce up to 800 kilowatts of power,” she said.
“These four dams are expected to feed and impetus to the Government’s Accelerated Irrigation Development Programme which seeks to climate and drought proof the country and help in the attainment of food security and increased agricultural productivity.”