Poor roads, lack of connectivity stalls development in Umzingwane

Zanu PF Umzingwane Member of Parliament, Levi Mayihlome, has blamed the lack of mobile network services and bad roads for stalled development in Dula Village, Ward 11.

Mayihlome said young people who are deployed to the area to serve in health facilities, schools or in the NGO sector are quick to flee the area because of poor communication infrastructure. 

Speaking to CITE recently Mayihlome said there is a need to expedite the process in order to address these issues. 

“There is no network infrastructure in this area. In the modern world, young people, even us the elderly, depend on the internet and to communicate with friends, family and colleagues. Villagers here struggle to communicate with whoever they may wish to communicate with. Even for such emergency services as calling an ambulance, they have to climb mountains or trees so that they may have access to the internet. Some elderly people here stay alone and they are of ill health, imagine the struggle they go through just to make a phone call,” Mayihlome said.  

 “As such, we have realised that the young generation that comes to work here at local clinics, schools or even NGOs are quick to flee because of lack of network infrastructure. They only stay here for a very short while before they start looking for jobs elsewhere where the conditions are better. They lose their social networks once they settle here.” 

Mayihlome bemoaned the situation saying it is even affecting the education sector as schools in the area produce poor results.  

“We have poor results because teachers are constantly changing. After every year we get new teachers and this affects children’s performance. Our children cannot even research online like the rest of the world is now doing. This keeps drawing us back in terms of development,” he said. 

The legislator said potential business investors are not spared the effects of the poor roads and lack of internet as they cannot do online transactions. 

“Business investors also face a similar dilemma. For them to bring their business here, they would only be limited to cash transactions. They can’t access swipe services and other online transactions,” he said. 

“Some villagers here live on farming. They grow vegetables that they sell at markets in Bulawayo. They face a lot of challenges in terms of transporting them there. Due to poor road network, they have to travel overnight with their goods so that they may arrive at the marketplace in the morning. They struggle to get places to sleep when they get there, as they await morning to come so that they can sell their products.” 

 Mayihlome said efforts have been made to engage the government and other stakeholders to address the issue and other areas have been attended to. 

“We have tried to engage POTRAZ and other service providers to install network infrastructure. Some schools, here in Mzingwane now have but others, especially in those mountainous areas have not yet been connected. We managed to get assistance from private investors and well wishers from our country and beyond to fund connectivity in schools,” he said.

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