Chombo not being serious

THE government seems to have found a convenient excuse to explain away a myriad of problems Zimbabweans are facing today in its ambitious ZimAsset economic blueprint.

When confronted with real issues affecting people, ministers are quick to point out that ZimAsset has answers to all their problems without being really clear on how this would be possible.

The latest victims are the people of Mabuthweni and Iminyela in Bulawayo who have been told that their problems will only be addressed by the economic blueprint.

Residents of the two suburbs have been living in very inhumane conditions 34 years after independence with about 40 families sharing a single communal toilet. Families of up to 10 people also share single rooms in conditions that residents said exposed them to diseases.

Last week Local Government, Public Works and National Housing minister Ignatius Chombo was asked by Mpopoma-Pelandaba MP Bekithemba Nyathi in the National Assembly what the government was doing to address the plight of such people.

Chombo’s answer relayed through Home Affairs deputy minister Ziyambi Ziyambi was very disappointing and should have left the hundreds of residents living in squalid conditions without hope.

The government has for a number of years been unveiling programme after programme aimed at addressing the housing shortages countrywide, but their impact has never been felt.

It is not only Mabuthweni and Iminyela residents who are living in such conditions as there are numerous other settlements that were set up by the settler regime as a way of humiliating indigenous people.

That the status quo has been maintained 34 years after independence is an indictment on leaders who claim to have the best interests of the masses at heart.

Chombo and his ministry should take the plight of these people much more seriously. The government has to come up with concrete plans for urban renewal and ensure that there is adequate funding.

The usual excuse would be that there is no money to fund such activities, but it is clear that with proper planning and prioritisation the resources could be found.

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