Tsholotsho chief blocks clinic

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CHIEF Gampu of Tsholotsho South allegedly triggered an outcry from Tsholotsho Rural District Council officials, councillors and villagers after ordering a halt to the construction of Gubomlilo clinic under unclear circumstances.

STAFF REPORTER

A Tsholotsho councillor, who did not want to be named, yesterday said the clinic is being constructed in Ward 11. Gampu allegedly ordered the ward councillor to stop construction work at the site immediately.

“On June 1, Chief Gampu ordered the Ward 11 councillor to stop construction of the Gubomlilo clinic. The construction is currently at foundation level and the MP for Tsholotsho South, Zenzo Sibanda, had promised 100 bags of cement towards the construction of the clinic,” the councillor said.

He said the reasons for the chief’s order to halt construction were not clear, but it is believed that village head Melusi Gumbo, a losing Zapu candidate in the July elections, is the person behind the order.

It is alleged that Gumbo wants the clinic to be constructed in Nanda village instead of in Gubomlilo. The councillor said Gampu had asked villagers present at the meeting to vote for the clinic site and people were in favour of Nanda village, but some of those who voted were from the neighbouring Ward 14. The councillor said his council colleagues were shocked by the chief’s directive and made representations to the MP.

A meeting was held on Monday at the council board room where it was agreed that construction should continue. Sibanda confirmed that Gampu had issued a directive halting construction of the clinic, but said the issue had now been resolved.

“Yes, the chief had stopped the construction, but we have talked it over at the meeting today (yesterday) and I said construction of the clinic must go ahead in accordance with the ZimAsset programme.

“Development must not be stopped and as a member of National Assembly for Tsholotsho South, I am unstoppable in issues of development.

“I have already assured the people that the clinic must not only be constructed at Gubomlilo, but also at Nanda village in the same ward as this is the reason why people were complaining,” Sibanda said.

He said development was not the task of chiefs, but MPs and councillors as elected officials.

“People are reviewing what MPs and councillors they elected do in terms of development and stopping development is negative to our cause. Chiefs are for tradition and culture and development is for us and we must be allowed to do our work,” he said.

Efforts to get a comment from Gampu were unsuccessful.