Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
Government has granted national project status to the development of Kanyemba in Mbire District, Mashonaland Central Province, in line with its quest for town status in the next five years.
Kanyemba is a vast swathe of land in the northernmost part of Zimbabwe along the Zambezi River on the border with Zambia and Mozambique and is famed for being at the confluence of Zambezi and two major rivers, Luangwa in Zambia and Mwanzamutanda in Zimbabwe.
Vice President Constantino Chiwenga announced the status yesterday when he met various Government officials implementing development projects in the area.
“I was listening to the various presentations made here and I am happy that you are in sync with what we want to achieve here. As Government, we have granted national project status to projects being implemented here and it will be like that until everything is completed,” said VP Chiwenga.
A number of infrastructure development projects are being implemented in the area, including the rehabilitation and resurfacing of the 141-km Mahuwe-Kanyemba Road, expansion of Chapoto Clinic into a fully-fledged hospital and the establishment of irrigation projects, some in conjunction with the private sector.
Already, Government has started clearing 200 hectares with a further 10 000 to be done in conjunction with private players.
The granting of national project status allows for the importation of critical equipment and other requisite materials duty-free.
“We have good soils here that are suitable for the growing of a variety of crops like avocado, maize, cow peas and sugar beans among others,” said VP Chiwenga.
He said the development of Kanyemba was part of Government’s vision to turn Zimbabwe into a middle income economy by 2030.
“This area has been marginalised for long despite having good soils and other abundant natural resources. We want to empower people here and achieve targets set out in achieving Vision 2030,” he said.
VP Chiwenga said the Governments of Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique were also in discussion to construct a bridge linking the three countries which share a border along the Zambezi River that would open up a gateway into Central Africa.
The African Development Bank is already providing funds for feasibility studies for construction of the bridge.
“With all the programmes we have set out here, we want Kanyemba to be one of the best places in the world.
“We should leave a legacy for our children and future generations,” he said.
VP Chiwenga said the challenges facing the country were surmountable.
He reiterated that Government had no capacity to pay its workers in foreign currency.
VP Chiwenga was accompanied by Agriculture, Land, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement Minister Perrance Shiri, Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube, Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister July Moyo and other senior Government officials.