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Mat North pins Gwayi-Shangani Dam, Nkayi Road hopes on Mnangagwa

by Staff reporter
16 Mar 2018 at 06:12hrs | Views
GOVERNMENT and political leaders in Matabeleland are pinning their hopes for the completion of the Gwayi-Shangani Dam and the Bulawayo-Nkayi road projects on the new dispensation led by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

President Mnangagwa is expected to tour the two projects in Matabeleland North today as his administration renews hope for completion of the projects in the province.

The Gwayi-Shangani Dam - a key component of the Zambezi Water Project -  was mooted in 1912 and Government is keen to see its completion as it is key to the development of Matabeleland region while the Bulawayo-Nkayi Road project commenced in 1993 and was supposed to be completed by 1999.

The Minister of State for Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs, Cain Mathema, said the completion of the two projects was long overdue.

"We're happy that President Mnangagwa is visiting Matabeleland North to assess progress made on the major projects in the province. This shows commitment and we're confident that the new dispensation will work towards the completion of the projects.

"These two projects are vital to the development of the country and their completion will improve the livelihoods of the people in Matabeleland region," said Mathema.

He said it was his dream to see every farm and household using piped water as well as accessible roads to every village.

"This would be a milestone for our people and it would go a long way in uplifting the lives of thousands of people living in the rural areas.

"I'm glad that the Ministry of Finance has been releasing funds towards the Gwayi-Shangani project. I was there recently and I saw work in progress. I hope the Government will continue pushing for its completion," said Mathema.

The Minister of State for Bulawayo Provincial Affairs, Angeline Masuku, said the President's tour brings hope not only to Matabeleland North but to the people of Bulawayo.

"We're happy that President Mnangagwa is visiting Matabeleland region and touring the Gwayi-Shangani and Bulawayo-Nkayi Road. This is a clear sign that the new dispensation is prioritising these projects.

"Both projects, when completed, will come as a milestone to the people of Bulawayo because the road will improve business between the city and Nkayi as well as other places in between the two areas," said Minister Masuku.

She said the Gwayi-Shangani Dam will bring water to Bulawayo, which is important for the re-industrialisation process taking place in the province.

"Our population is growing fast and our industries will soon be operational. Water is a major component that is required to complement the growth of our industries. We can't have sound industries where there's water rationing. We're therefore looking forward to the developments that the new dispensation will bring to the region. These will definitely uplift the livelihoods of our people," said Minister Masuku.

Umguza Member of Parliament and Minister of Home Affairs and Culture Obert Mpofu said the region was excited about President Mnangagwa's visit.

"President Mnangagwa is a practical man who has hit the ground running and does what he says. He has made it clear that he'll not have time for issues that don't bring development to the country.

"His visit to Matabeleland North shows the commitment by the new dispensation and brings excitement and hope to our people because the Gwayi-Shangani Dam and the Bulawayo-Nkayi road are outstanding projects which people have been politicising for a long time," said Mpofu.

He said the Bulawayo-Nkayi road had become a traffic hazard due to its deplorable state.

Bubi MP, Clifford Sibanda, said he has no doubt that President Mnangagwa's administration will complete the projects.

"We're looking forward to seeing the completion of the much talked about projects that have taken years to be complete. I personally know President Mnangagwa as a man of action. I worked with him in the Command Agriculture programme and many other projects.

"Through his vision of Command Agriculture, President Mnangagwa has always emphasised on the need to improve access to water and all road networks in the country to enhance development. I have no doubt that in the shortest possible time we'll see tangible action on the ground," he said.

Gwayi-Shangani Dam has a holding capacity of 635 million cubic metres of water and will be the largest water body in Matabeleland North province.

On completion the dam, which is on the confluence of Gwayi and Shangani rivers, is expected to bring about socio-economic transformation of surrounding communities and other parts of the drought-prone Matabeleland North province. The dam will also have the capacity to generate six megawatts of electricity.

The state of the Bulawayo-Nkayi Road has deteriorated drastically, making it difficult for local businesspeople to have their goods delivered without hassles. Presently, less than 50km of the nearly 155km Bulawayo-Nkayi Road has been widened and resurfaced.

Source - chronicle