CCC to push for anti-marginalisation agenda in Matabeleland North

The Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) Matabeleland North chair Prince Dubeko Sibanda has said his party will push for an anti-marginalisation agenda hinged on forcing a retention of a percentage of revenue generated from local resources in the province.

Sibanda, cruised to victory ahead of Zanu-PF’s Kudakwashe Munsaka in Binga North last Wednesday, as CCC retained both Binga North and Binga South and maintaining dominance over Zanu-PF which has not tasted victory in the district since 2000 when the opposition MDC was formed.

CCC also reclaimed Lupane East and West, retained Hwange Central, Hwange East and Hwange West and also snatched Nkayi South and Tsholotsho from Zanu-PF.

In an interview, Sibanda said his party will promote devolution where policies and priorities are determined at local level.

Among other things, he said CCC will push heavily for activation of the provincial council so that it becomes a platform for communities for development, and compensation of people of Binga who were dislocated to pave the way for the construction of Kariba Dam in the 1950s.

“When you talk to us you are talking to the legislature, the representatives of the people. What has made Zanu-PF to lose in Matabeleland North is because of its policies of marginalisation in which development is only channelled towards certain areas of the country and others are left out.

“Where development is brought to the province it’s a top-down approach where you get the leftovers without you setting priorities. We will advance that agenda in Parliament as a party to say whatever Government that will finally be in power in this country it has to remember that as Matabeleland North we want to have some kind of say in what we want to have as our priorities,” said Sibanda.

He said local resources are not benefiting locals.

He said the province has coal, timber, methane gas, gold, fish, tourism and other resources which are being exploited yet the province remains poor.

“It is our belief that a sharing system of resources would be established so that whenever revenue is gathered from any one of our resources, a certain percentage is left for the development of the area,” said Sibanda.

He said processing firms should be established in communities for value addition and the creation of jobs for locals.

“We desire that factories be set up to manufacture products within our own areas so that our young people can get employment within their communities. Historically there are issues that we want attended to like relocation of many of our people from their original areas without any compensation like Binga for building of Kariba Dam.

“They were promised that water was going to follow them but what we are seeing is drilling of boreholes along Zambezi river. That defies logic, boreholes are not development, livestock and crop agriculture will not benefit

“Let’s get that amount of money that is being wasted to boreholes to piped water for communities to benefit,” he said.

Sibanda said CCC will seek to heighten efforts to address the Gukurahundi issue as efforts being made are not enough.

He said CCC will push for a parliamentary caucus for Government to “implement a satisfactory engagement with the communities and then we see how those communities can be compensated for that. We want those things to be addressed and those are our priorities as a caucus for Matabeleland North.”

Sibanda said what pains people in Matabeleland North is failure by successive governments to repair Bulawayo-Nkayi road, Karoi-Binga road, Bulawayo-Tsholotsho road, Binga-Cross Dete road and Victoria Falls highway which are all in a sorry state and not fit for a tourism capital.

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