Lupane West Member of Parliament (MP) Martin Khumalo has challenged the government to complete all the outstanding projects in Matabeleland North in honour of the late Chief Mabhikwa of Jotsholo, Lupane who died last week from injuries sustained in a road accident.
Speaking during the funeral service for the youthful chief, born Vusumuzi Khumalo in Jotsholo Saturday, the area legislator said government-funded projects in the province were moving at a very slow pace.
“This province has so many government-funded projects but they are moving at a tortoise’s pace,” decried Khumalo.
He mentioned the Gwayi-Shangani pipeline, Gwayi-Shangani Dam, Elitsheni Government Complex, Lupane State University and others.
“At a time when Vusa (late Chief Mabhikwa) was born, the people of Matabeleland North were very much concerned that Lupane was lagging behind in development,” said Khumalo.
“When our father Nicholas gave Vusa this name he was saying he should raise and develop Lupane.”
He said it was however sad that the two chiefs have since passed on before a number of projects could be completed for the benefit of the province.
“Unit 7 and 8 [at Hwange Power Station] , set to bring electricity to the whole country, are not yet complete,” said Khumalo.
“Gwayi-Shangani Dam is 30 to 40 percent complete; the project of the pipeline from Matabeleland North capital should be completed. Chief Mabhikwa left the Lupane State University operating from Bulawayo. How expensive it is for students from Binga and Lupane to go for tertiary education in Bulawayo when the university is in Matabeleland North. We want the government to complete this project so that Chief Mabhikwa can sleep in peace.”
He said the irrigation project at the Bubi-Lupane Dam was also not complete.
“Chief Mabhikwa left the Elitsheni Government Complex, which is equivalent to Mhlahlandlela [in Bulawayo] incomplete,” said Khumalo.
“All this has not been done. We are waiting for the commissioning of that project to be done soon for the Chief to sleep in peace.”
On the Victoria Falls Road, Khumalo challenged the government to move with speed in fixing it.
“That project has to be expedited because it is the face of the province, it is the face of the country as it is used by tourists,” said Khumalo.
“It would be bad to lose tourists who bring us money on that road.”
Khumalo said it was sad that both the late Chief and his father died before the fruition of the Lupane Methane Gas Project.
“Both Vusa and his father Nicholas left behind the methane gas project which can supply fuel to all 16 SADC countries for 50 years,” said Khumalo.
“That’s a lot of money for the country, Matabeleland North and Lupane. May that project be followed up for Vusa and Nicholas Khumalo’s wishes to be fulfilled?”
The legislator further challenged the government to attend to mobile phone network challenges in the district and province.
“We have a booster which has taken almost five years being talked about but today the tower has been erected while the rest has not been done,” bemoaned Khumalo. “That booster is set to help all schools in Lupane West, Lupane East as well as Gokwe and Nkayi. May that project be fast-tracked. Vusa wanted a network covering all his area.”
He added: “The road to the chief’s homestead started by the DDF (District Development Fund) some years back has not been completed and the chief has died leaving it like that.”