A Report to the President on Service Delivery
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I would like to thank you for allowing me to address your parliament Mr President (questioning some prominent figures). This is good for the people of Zimbabwe, I also value the fact that in future ordinary citizens be allowed every now and then in the parliament and such must be made known to the citizens.
The people of Zimbabwe are hard workers, have survived through toughest times where others in fellow countries have derailed into the pit of fire.
Nevertheless, I still 32 YEARS ON, WE DESERVE THE BEST AND THE TIME IS NOW.
For a very long time, our communities have been let down by government officials and they have not been held responsible and accountable.
I have mentioned my village of Nyamhondo several times in my articles and I think like many other districts in the country, all the MPS who have been elected over the past 32 years have done little if not none. The least they could have done is to engage the community (because they blame everything on lack of money); just to gather everybody once a year though I would prefer four times a year or every now and then. In doing this, you discuss problems communities are facing, do fund raisings within the community for example just to request everybody to raise even a dollar for cement, paints for a school in the area.
Also figuring out the poorest of the poor, engage villagers to collectively make mud bricks and requesting builders in such areas to help with their skills for free (have influence). MPs are in a better position to engage with Chiefs and Sub-Chiefs helping them with strategies to tackle problems in their villages, encourage them to preserve their culture. Free things like helping villagers to have at least five different fruit trees (exotic) and other indigenous trees as well is highly recommended, breeding chickens well (teaching them surviving skills) etc. Such things do not need money, but their (MPs) time and expertise. Certainly we should be talking of solar power for rural people by now.
32 YEARS ON, ordinary citizens are still paying for health services. I have seen people seriously ill and afraid to go to the hospitals because they do not have monies to pay for health services therefore they would rather die. Many people in many rural districts still walk more than forty kilometres if not miles to go to the nearest district hospital; ten or so kilometres to go to the nearest clinic or school. Certainly if we think of cutting costs, clinics or even hospitals are not that expensive to build and with your influence Mr President you can attract a lot of funding for equipment. Salt and sugar solution is still given especially at rural clinics, am sure the health department must start showing signs of seriousness and do more to get drugs (better to invest heavily in a company that will make such drugs locally).
I am still disturbed by the fact that we still have a few nursing training instructions in the country. Each province must have its own (even more) nursing training institution. In addition midwives/health advisors (provided with bicycles) catered for by the health department used to be there in the 80s to ensure health awareness campaigns in rural areas, towns and helping with some medication, contraceptive etc. We need mobile clinics to help especially in remote rural areas for ordinary villagers, schools etc. each villagers must have at least two in the meantime. State of the art clinics and hospitals are much needed. We do not have to go to South Africa or other countries for transplants or other health reasons. It must be done here.
Also it is about time that the health department own at least two helicopters in each province in case of disasters and emergencies etc. At least a couple of Medical hospitals are much needed for our citizens. The health department must root out corruption, as a country we canâ€™t afford greed people buying favours for medical attention i.e. jumping queues, drugs reserved for them while the poor suffer.
With climate change, drought will be the order of the day especially in low veld areas. There is no time to wait for good rains, trapping water should our main focus. This is done through increased boreholes for villagers, more dams and of paramount importance, solar irrigation (this is the future and answer for drought, the time is now). This will help ordinary citizens to grow own food (and for the country) throughout the year. It is very important to help people to find it within themselves.
When white colonialists occupied our land, the best thing they did was to get all the resources necessary and they easily shot to large scale farming. The black person forgot or is very slow to make all such necessary resources available to his fellow countrymen and they are failing dismally to produce bumper harvests. The agriculture department will forever tell you that they are at an advanced stage (maybe waiting for the second coming of Christ). It shows we have not learnt anything at all, or only a little.
My research has shown me that China has got all the things we need for our agriculture (in their abundance) that suits our climate for an ordinary peasant farmer to large scale farmers. Agricultural advisors especially once solar irrigation projects are set in remote rural areas are much needed for guidance like door to door visiting of villagers to see where they are lacking, where they can improve. Certainly there is no rocket science in this.
Communities must benefit from indigenisation programs and must elect own representativesâ€™ unanimously agree on projects to be completed, must be responsible and accountable for funds they earn and must be advised to help other communities less privileged (with no mines) with whatever they can spare.
I havenâ€™t heard a lot of development from the Education Department. I am of the view that education has deteriorated and probably far worse than the bottle neck system once imposed during the colonial era. I recently visited six primary schools and two high schools in the rural areas of Mwenezi and Mberengwa ie. Batanai,Pambe, Manâ€™onde, Bonda. Manyanga, Chengwe and Vurasha and Guiding Star.
Apart from the fact that they are worse than unoccupied ancient structures, they havenâ€™t received textbooks for almost a decade. They use either old text books or request scholars to folk from their pockets; teachers also go an extra mile as they use own hard earned monies to help. The department should be working extra hard in building more schools and libraries in remote rural areas especially where they are no schools at all, passing the free education policy and helping scholars especially at high schools with bursaries, internships, apprenticeship etc. Tertiary institution must be built in every province and with branches in some areas.
Sports activities (a variety of these) should be valued a lot at school level.
A frequent visit by education officials especially to remote disadvantages areas is very important. Mobile educational schools equipped with hi-tech learning material should also be introduced to make sure disadvantaged scholars are abreast with technology. Uruguay is the first country to provide each and every scholar with a laptop. The least we can do is to provide a few PCs for each school. Electrify every school in the country with an option of solar power to remote rural schools. We should take advantage of improved 3G technology in the country. Cell phone services providers must also make internet access affordable especially for schools and tertiary institutions.
Probably three quarters of our tertiary students do not have access to computers and it is unacceptable.
Statistics on the performance of our students nationally is also important to check if our improving or going down the drain.
Mobile vans are also important for the registry department in helping the poor to obtain births, IDs and passports and in every district. There must be a zero tolerance for corruption and this must apply to all departments.
For the labour department, help communities set databases of their community, enforce companies operating there that they look into such communities first when filling vacancies before looking elsewhere. The companies and the department must also help communities with skills and development of the youth.
The department must frequently inform us of the labour statistics.
Setting minimum market related salaries for our citizens is the way forward. In South Africa, there is the Council for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) and the labour court. They play a very crucial part especially in matters of unfair labour practices by employers to their employees. I have struggled to come up with better info on our situation regarding such in the country. Also unemployment insurance funds (UIF) is very important in the labour market.
To address some of the past mistakes, in my own view basing on some countries are following this model; it is in our interest that we introduce a monthly grant for our elders who are 65 years of age and above. I would suggest at least $120 a month. That is the best we can do for them.
I also suggest another department for our handicapped fellow citizens. I would think of a handicapped well educated individual as the Minister; certainly he/she will be in a better position to address their needs.
Somebody is worried that I opposed the recent trip of our Prime Minister to Australia and said I am always attacking him. I think charity begins at home.
If I find gold in my backyard, a well full of honey and then I do not get engage my family or fellow villagers, see them as chancers and then go across borders to engage other communities and say this is what I have, help me dig out these and take them and process in your own country, do not worry about labour, my villagers will do the hard work (work for you and you will decide whatever you want to give them) then we are lost as a nation. That is Justice denied for the citizens. Next such companies will evict you and give you a thousand dollars to start a life somewhere.
Our resources must first benefit us as citizens, we must be well trained and resourced and only when our house is in order (living well deserved lives) then will we invite guests. For decades, the people of Ivory Coast have been farming cocoa, selling such to France mainly at very low prices. They (many) hitherto have never tasted a chocolate. Same can be said to the people of Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe for their precious tea. They work very hard for this and receive little (and have never tasted it) while it is enjoyed by rich people.
Economic freedom is what we need and political freedom will be achieved through this.
We have become a Donor Depended Republic of Zimbabwe, heavily depended on modified foods from the US. I am sure they are happy to test their product on us (their guinea pigs). I salute Zambia for refusing such.
We have become a dumping ground of other nations as we receive their damaged goods (kupiwa zvine zvigamba), and one wonders if we are going green by doing this. When will we attract affordable electric powered, solar powered and hybrid vehicles? TVs and other electric appliances that is ready for recycling, that is what we get in our country.
Having done some wonderful projects â€“ a very good example to other top government officials (while others hide in the name of opposition and say they cannot do more except once in power), while Mr Welshman Ncube (condolences) has broken all that; I only disagree with him on one thing, the land issue is not a closed chapter. The land issue is not a closed chapter. If other government officials and other privileged citizens took more than one farm and benefiting their own families, then we will revisit (vicious circle) this and such people will risk losing everything. I expected especially farm workers and the poor to benefit from this initiative and receiving resources but the problem again, we see such people as chancers while they have the knowledge of farming more than many and one wonders as to what is happening to our fellow privileged black diamond.
His Excellency, let us not put loyalists, people with background, chancers as we will have a problem with benchwarmers as the case currently. It is in our interest to have a qualified medical practitioner (doctor)as a Minister of Health (South Africa is for the first time reaping rewards since following this route), a Chartered Accountant as Finance Minister, would prefer an individually with a Doctorate in Economics as Governor of the Reserve Bank, a highly educated individual (PHD in Eduaction) as Minister of Education, same for the Agriculture Department, Labour and other departments.
For our sports, we need legends to guide us and do more to ensure that we build talent at grass roots level (having only one lady at the Olympics shows us as a serious lacking country). The department of arts and culture, trade and industry, we want more being done promoting a lot films in the country, helping artists etc.
MPs, Mayors, Councillors, DAs, Ministers must be reshuffled or fired if failing to deliver in the short in the short term as obviously they wonâ€™t make a difference in the long term. An article is coming covering electricity issues.
We are a smart country as we always avoid a debt bubble for our citizens hence I believe that we have a lot of potential to achieve more than what is mentioned above.
One of my mentors, the late Mr Harunangoni (Lundi High, Masvingo, during the 90s) once stated that it would be difficult of the generations to come to own brand new cars unless government officials start to be serious. He went well though I own a brand new car.
Three steps forward and ten steps backwards, simply means we have achieved little over the past 32 years, a fifth I would say. Thank you for your time and MAY THE LORD BLESS ZIMBABWEANS?
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Source: Justice Maphosa
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