The MDC led by Welshman Ncube has called the government to implement the constitutional clause which endorses the appointment of provincial councils across the country’s 10 provinces in efforts to ensure devolution of power.
The call was made by the party’s Matabeleland South provincial chairperson Pilate Ndebele, who said due to the government’s delay in putting provincial councils in place, devolution had failed to be implemented resulting to most of the regions, which have been marginalised since independence such as Matabeleland, the Midlands and Masvingo, lagging behind in almost every developmental aspect.
Ndebele said hunger was rocking Matabeleland and Masvingo due to failure by the government to take power to the provinces through devolution.
He said the regions did not have enough dams and irrigation schemes were inadequate, leading to starvation.
“The government now speaks of donors to supply food, yet it has the opportunity to empower people by implementing devolution so that they could benefit from their own resources,” Ndebele said.
“The government must channel funds generated from each province to the development of that specific province. One of the developments that can assist people is that of the construction of dams and irrigation schemes.
“As we speak, children in parts of Matabeleland South are going to school without food.
“The whole province has nothing, people will not harvest this year.”
He said what was sad was that last year when farmers got better harvests, the government, through the Grain Marketing Board, failed to pay farmers for deliveries.
“The government takes people’s produce and takes up to nine months to pay them, that is not reasonable at all,” Ndebele said. “If the government is people-centred, it must facilitate the paying of farmers on time.
“The government must think about constructing irrigation schemes, which could accommodate more people than current ones which only accommodate about 10 to 20 people.”