Senator urges govt to prioritise Zambezi water

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Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project (MZWP)

GWABALANDA constituency Senator Agnes Sibanda has appealed through President Robert Mugabe for the government not to continue embarking on new projects in other parts of the country at the same time neglecting the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project (MZWP).

CHIEF REPORTER

Sibanda said several projects in the region were only talked about during election periods.

The senator said it was saddening that most capital projects were “resuscitated when approaching elections” and later abandoned.

“There is the Zambezi Water Project that started in 1912 and then in between, they realised that there were people who tried to resuscitate it,” she said.

“However, I have realised that the project is at a standstill.

“They keep on starting other projects in some provinces in the country yet there is a project that was started in 1912.”

Sibanda implored the government to prioritise the water project, saying it was essential for the western parts of the country.

“We have the Tshangani Dam, which I always see being resuscitated when we are approaching elections,” she said.

“Bulawayo does not have water and when it comes to (distributing) riches in the country, Bulawayo is ignored when it does not have water.”

The MZWP, which has been on the cards since 1912, is one of few projects that received some attention during the lifespan of the inclusive government.

Since the takeover of the government by Zanu PF, it appears the project has been in limbo.

Sibanda asked the government to construct more schools in Matabeleland, saying due to a critical shortage of schools in the region, pupils were forced to walk 34km a day “unlike other places where they walk 5km”.

“In Matabeleland it is saddening because schools are so far apart and there are a few secondary schools,” she said.

“We, therefore, plead with His Excellency, the president (Mugabe), as he has spoken about the importance of education that each and every child should have access to education because children are the future of our nation.

“Many primary schools in Matabeleland are far apart and some children walk 17km to school including those in Grade 1. It means they walk 34km to and from their schools per day.”