By Dumisani Nyoni
GWANDA Rural District Council (RDC) villagers have identified three key projects to be developed under the devolution programme, one of them being resuscitation of Liebicks Canary dealing with beef products.
In his 2019 National Budget presentation recently, Finance and Economic Development minister Professor Mthuli Ncube set aside $310 million to facilitate the process of devolution in the country.
As such, all provinces are expected to plan and implement their economic growth and development using their factor endowments, with central government contributing through the 5% allocation annually.
The evolution strategy also embraces initiatives to facilitate establishment of companies in various districts, in line with the thrust to enhance production in respective provinces, with the long established Growth Points being epicentres of this developmental thrust.
This would help government achieve middle-income economy by 2030.
In preparation for this, Gwanda RDC villagers in conjunction with Community Youth Development Trust (CYDT) on recently convened a meeting where they resolved to resuscitate the once vibrant Liebicks Canary as well as constructing the Manyange bridge in Gwanda North and renovate Gwanda mortuary.
Speaking during the meeting, ward 14 councillor, Phineas Maphosa said the resuscitation of Liebicks Canary was ideal.
“It is very attainable considering that young people will be able to benefit from its proceeds and also get employed,” Maphosa said.
Maphosa said young people and other community members needed to benefit from the locally available resources as per the provisions of the Constitution under Chapter 14, hence the need to make more noise that will force the government to ensure restoration of that factory.
Liebicks Canary, situated at West Nicholson, used to employ thousands of people in the district but collapsed due to economic hardships.
The meeting also came up with two more projects which residents felt were of equally important and agreed to lobby for their funding through the RDC finance committee and other development agencies.
These were the construction of the Manyange bridge in Gwanda North and renovation of the Gwanda mortuary which services communities across the district.
In support of the Manyange dam as the second priority project, the house made reference to the 2017 floods which saw more than 1 000 people from about 200 homesteads in Manyange village trapped for two weeks due to flooded rivers that have isolated the area, threatening villagers with starvation.
Under a devolved state, each province will have its own economic development plan underpinned by resources found in that province. Economic plans will be crafted by provincial councils, led by provincial ministers, whose role should also be development-oriented.
CYDT said by implementing a project that seeks to enhance local governance in Zimbabwe and strengthen youth voice in such processes, would make them get motivation around taking an active role in community development for the betterment of service delivery.
“In a world where development is suppressed due to lack of maybe fair distribution of resources and also community involvement, there is need for adoption of strategies around participatory planning which later give community members ownership and sense of belonging,” the organisation said.
“As CYDT, we strongly believe that good community development is action that helps people to recognize and develop their ability, potential and organize themselves to respond to problems and needs which they share in a holistic manner.”
The organisation supports the establishment of strong communities that control and use assets to promote social justice and help improve the quality of community life.
“All this goes an extra mile in enabling community and public agencies to work together to improve the quality of government,” CYDT said.