Freedom Mupanedemo Midlands Bureau
The Midlands Province is working on establishing its net worth, as devolution implementation gathers momentum.
In an interview on Tuesday, Midlands Provincial Affairs Minister Larry Mavima said the province, with its vast mineral deposits, had the capacity to be among the top in contributing to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in line with President Mnangagwa’s devolution thrust.
He said the first port of call was to establish the number of civil servants in the province and how much Government was channelling into the province towards the salaries of civil service.
“When we know the number of civil servants in the province and the money that Government channels towards their salaries every month, we will be able to determine our disposable income as a province,” Minister Mavima.
“We also intend to collate the number of companies that we have in the province what they channel towards their employees and simple economics will help us know our possible disposable income as a province.”
“These figures should then be made public so that investors know the potential that the province has in terms of its disposable income,” he said.
Minister Mavima urged small to medium enerprises to work on regularising their business for devolution to work.
“This must be an all-inclusive effort,” he said. “The world over, SMEs play an important role in driving the economy hence our plea for SMEs to also take part in devolution, so they must regularise and not evade paying taxes.”
Minister Mavima said the province was also working on measures to make sure that the province produced its own products.
“As a province we have everything, we are the biggest producers of milk. We produce wheat; we contribute about 40 percent of the country’s gold output. We have chrome smelting companies, Zimasco, which is the largest producer in the Midlands, so we should lead in our GDP,” he said.
“In the long run, we should not be having our bread coming from either Harare or Bulawayo, we must not have our milk coming from other provinces when we have milk in the province. This how we should shape up for us to be the leading province in terms of devolution and achieving President Mnangagwa’s 2030 vision.”