Tawanda Mangoma in Chiredzi
Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs Ezra Chadzamira has expressed concern over delays in the completion of Tugwi-Mukosi irrigation master plan, saying the situation was affecting the take-off of several projects expected to drive the province’s development goals.
Minister Chadzamira said Tugwi-Mukosi could irrigate more than 25 000 hectares, which can be put under crops such as wheat and soya-beans and peg back the country’s import bill.
He said there was urgent need to start full utilisation of the province’s redundant water bodies to engender economic growth in the province.
Minister Chadzamira said delays to complete the irrigation master plan were now a cause for concern to the provincial leadership.
“We will not continue to wait for the Tugwi-Mukosi master plan which has stalled development in the province. Tugwi-Mukosi Dam was commissioned in May 2017 and they continue giving reference to the master plan which they are not completing,” he said.
“The master plan will not stop us from kick-starting various projects and programmes which will benefit the people. Does the construction of a hotel on an island require a master plan? Those who will be granted permission to build such a hotel will bring their own master plan. We don’t need a master plan to start fishing and generating electricity,” he said.
Cde Chadzamira said those responsible for drafting the master plan had let the province down as there was urgent need to start several irrigation projects using Tugwi-Mukosi water.
“We have agreed as Government that projects that are outside the master plan’s purview should kick-off, we want to reduce poverty, unemployment and inequality among our people by using the dam’s water,” said Minister Chadzamira.
He challenged people in the province to start identifying investors prepared to set up shop at Tugwi-Mukosi.
“We will not continue allocating land to individuals, as Government we are now urging the creation of joint ventures with investors as this will ensure full and expeditious utilisation of land,” said Cde Chadzamira.