Ministry bemoans disbursement of funds
Ishemunyoro Chingwere Property Reporter
THE Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development has bemoaned the delayed disbursement of funds by Government for construction work at State Universities. The Ministry has set targets under the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio Economic Transformation (Zim-Asset) programme, but some of the projects have stalled due to a lack of funds. Presenting a progress report at the stakeholder consultations on the framing of a successor blueprint to Zim-Asset which is being coordinated by the Ministry of Macro-Economic Planning and Investment Promotion, the Ministry noted infrastructure successes but said more could have been done.
“Delayed payment to contractors for work done on the LSU (Lupane State University) project and no disbursements of funds for the projects at MSU (Midlands State University) and BUSE (Bindura University of Science Education),” are some of the challenges highlighted by the Ministry in a presentation signed by permanent Secretary, Professor Francis Gudyanga.
In its successes under Zim-Asset, the Ministry listed, “Commencement of the construction of 704 capacity hostels, two wardens’ houses, kitchen and dining hall at Lupane State University (LSU), Bindura University of Science Education (BUSE) and Midlands State University (MSU).
“At LSU, progress is at 87 percent complete and ongoing. Construction was suspended at the end of 2013 at MSU and BUSE with progress at 35 percent and 42 percent respectively.
The Ministry said construction at LSU was suspended at the end of 2013 at 40 percent completion. The Ministry is also in need of $5,6 million for the completion of two staff apartments at LSU. The Ministry said work at LSU will go a long way in shrinking the $100 000 per month bill in rentals which the fledging University was paying.
Speaking in parliament in June 2015, Matabeleland North senator, Sibusisiwe Budha-Masara, said LSU was spending $100 000 per month on rentals for office space and sporting venues in Bulawayo. The bill could even be much higher if rentals for leasing learning space and administration offices are factored in.
The progress report also noted that rehabilitation work of infrastructure at Gwanda State University requires $700 000, while a further $4,3 million is required for the production of a master plan and construction of a student hostel, 4 staff houses and a computer laboratory at Manicaland University of Applied Sciences. Another $8,2 million and $6,4 million is required for the completion of student hostels, wardens’ houses and kitchen and dining halls at MSU and BUSE respectively.