Residents in Bulawayo have raised concern at the slow pace by the government to complete some development projects in Matabeleland which have been in the pipeline for decades.
This came out during the public finance management reform indaba organised by Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD), in Bulawayo.
Speaking during the meeting, a resident, Percy Mcijo said there are some projects that have been on the national budget for years but there has never been any progress.
“There are some projects such as the Gwayi-Shangani dam that have been allocated a budget for over the years but there has never been any change,” said Mcijo.
“Do we ever put any values to our budget, to me it appears as if we are only making political statements as we come up with these budgets which is very unfortunate as it will get us nowhere as a country.
“The Gwayi- Shangai dam has been allocated a budget year in year out, do you think there is any value which have been put there or its only a political gimmick,” he said.
The Gwayi-Shangani Dam project was allocated ZWL$400 million in the 2020 national budget.
Mcijo there is a need for long term economic policies that will help speead up development in Matabeleland.
“Devolution itself that people fought for, the civil society until it was incorporated in our constitution, there is no law that operationalises it, there is an allocation, is it not only done as a matter of just blinding people up, so is there is any value in our budget.
“We have had this short term recovery programme, when are we going to have a long term economic policy because to me these programmes are just not serious,” Mcijo said.
In addition, another participant said they have struggled to access some of the funds set aside for women projects.
“We always hear that there are funds set aside for women development but we rarely receive those funds. We would appreciate if these funds will be released,” she said
A number of development projects in Matabeleland have stalled with the government dithering on implementing the projects.
One such project is the Bulawayo-Nkayi road which began in 1993 and was supposed to be completed by 1999 but years later the road is still in a deplorable state.