Fungi Kwaramba in Buhera
Zimbabwe has saved billions of dollars in hard currency by engaging local companies to carry out infrastructural development projects such as dam and roads construction, President Mnangangwa has said.
Speaking at the commissioning of Marovanyati Dam here yesterday, the President said the Government saved US$1,3 billion on the ongoing construction of the Harare-Beitbridge Road, which is being done by local companies.
“This Government walks the talk on development unlike in the past. You can see the development here, there is no province that does not have a dam that is being constructed.
“We are constructing roads, in the past we used to think that we couldn’t do it on our own. We used to seek foreigners, but not anymore.
“Initially, we engaged some foreign companies to construct the Harare-Beitbridge Road and we had to pay US$1,9 billion. However, after some delays we kicked out those companies and hired locally. The road is going to cost US$600 million and we are saving US$1,3 billion. We will keep on pursuing these infrastructural development programmes on our own. Let’s work together, this is our country, we are united with our land and our land with us.
“Going forward, we should be able to say this year we did this and then go to the next year, we are building bridges, roads. We now know that we can do it by ourselves,” he said.
The massive dam, with a full supply capacity of 50 million cubic metres and a surface area of 546 hectares, is set to transform lives in Buhera, a district that has low annual rainfall and was thus susceptible to weather vagaries.
Apart from climate proofing agriculture, the dam is set to supply water to the sprawling Murambinda Growth Point.
“This dam was not envisaged by us but it was a project that has been in the pipeline for so many years. When we came, we moved from talking into implementing this project. This has taken two years, this dream is now a reality. This dam was built by our local engineers. I have been promised that going forward they will be building on their own. Of course I would like to thank our friends the Chinese, they have built so many projects for us and we have learned workmanship from the Chinese.”
The dam that is seven kilometres from Murambinda Dam was funded by Government with the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) as the engineers while China Jiagxi Corporation was the contractor.
“We have brought devolution through which we give regions budgets where they can pursue their own goals, but for such projects central Government steps in. In the past we used to borrow to build such infrastructure but with this project there is no loan from anyone that we will have to pay back.
“We have built this with our own resources even though we are under sanctions,” the President said.
The President said a united and peaceful nation will prosper and condemned destructive elements in the opposition who are in the habit of calling for the imposition of sanctions on the country and also engage in senseless and often violent demonstrations seeking to illegal unseat the Government.
“If we are united and peaceful we will construct more infrastructure like this. Let’s work together.
“Now that we have the dam, let’s ensure that Murambinda Growth Point gets water. Murambinda Growth Point should have flush toilets not Blair toilets. Development of Murambinda should be modern, there is now water for sanitation,” he said.
Apart from providing water to the sprawling growth point, Marovanyati Dam will also supply water to Dorowa Mine as well as feed irrigation fields in line with the Government thrust to climate-proof agriculture.
“The Ministry of Agriculture has identified land that can be supplied with water downstream. We are going to have pivot irrigation system.
“This scheme will be run by the Ministry of Agriculture, (and) will be for people from Buhera. We don’t want lazy people under these schemes because development requires three things — the person, land and water. You didn’t have water, now you have it. Development has now come to Buhera.
“We appreciate that there is erratic rainfall here but now with this project you can focus on maize and not only small grains.
“Lives are going to change here. We have been told that there will be good rains this season, don’t be left behind in the Pfumvudza programme.It will ensure that every household will have enough food.
“When you think of development, don’t look at Harare. It starts with you, look at what you can do. There is now irrigation, there is Pfumvudza, we are doing this to transform people here towards ensuring that no one will be left behind come 2030,” he said.
Zimbabwe is pursuing President Mnangangwa’s Vision 2030 to become a middle class economy that is underpinned by agriculture, mining and tourism.
The President urged people in Buhera to continue to observe measures to contain the Covid-19 pandemic even as the pandemic has had less impact on the country, saying any relapse could reverse the gains made so far.
“We have sorted the issue of nurses because we told them you can’t be a nurse while you are home. Same thing with teachers. If you are a teacher you should be in front of learners. Yes we are aware of the challenges that people are facing, we are addressing those issues but the teachers cannot hold the nation to ransom.”
The Government has continuously reviewed salaries of civil servants. However, some political activists masquerading as union leaders have been trying to throw spanners into the negotiations between bona fide educators and their employer, the Government.
The President assured people in Buhera that roads will be improved in the province with the four MPs getting 15 metric tonnes or maize per constituency to distribute in their respective constituencies.
The President was accompanied by Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, Defence and War Veterans Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube, Agriculture Minister Dr John Masuka and Deputy Chief Secretary to the President Mr George Charamba.