San community urges govt to fulfill its promises

The government has been urged to fulfill its promise to improve the welfare of members of the San Community in Tsholotsho District, Matabeleland North.

A government delegation recently visited the community and came face to face with the numerous challenges faced by the community.

A report was recently presented before cabinet which instructed various government ministries to address the challenges faced by the community.

“The Cabinet received a report on a Government delegation’s visit to the San Community in Tsholotsho District in Matabeleland North Province. The delegation noted that the San people lack birth certificates and identity documents, encounter high teenage pregnancies as well as very low school completion rates at primary and secondary school, and suffer food insecurity mainly due to human-wildlife conflict and failure to practise modern agriculture,” said Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs, Opah Muchinguri-Kashiri, in her capacity as the Chairperson of the Ad-Hoc Inter-Ministerial Task Force.

“Cabinet has thus directed that every Ministry should identify and take up a developmental role in areas inhabited by the San/Tjwao communities and that two or three primary and an equal number of secondary schools be set up as boarding institutions in areas easily accessible to San/Tjwao communities, in order to enhance school completion rates.”

Muchinguri-Kashiri said to address the issue of lack of identity documents, the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage should instruct the Registrar General’s Office to issue birth and identity documents to the community.

“The Security Ministries must waiver the entry requirements to enable San/Tjwao citizens to enlist into the respective uniformed services; the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works expeditiously appoints headmen and chiefs to enhance the participation of their community in governance.  The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development should ensure the timeous release of funds requested by Ministries for the implementation of development programmes and projects therein.”

Muchinguri-Kashiri added that proceeds from the CAMPFIRE Programme should be ploughed back to benefit communities living in areas where there is abundant wildlife.  

“The Food Deficit Mitigation Programme should be retargeted for the benefit of the marginalised communities. The operations of the John Landa Nkomo Trust in areas inhabited by the San/Tjwao should be revived and expanded,” she said.

Tsoro-o-tso San Development Trust director and founder Davy Ndlovu told CITE that the community was elated by the government’s gesture.

Ndlovu said the visit by the government to meet their community is the first step to progress and development.

“We are very happy and the community members are happy too. The fact that the ministers actually came to meet the people is a huge step, it shows commitment. At least the people got to speak for themselves and told the government their challenges and what they need,” he said.

“Of course we have been meeting the government on behalf of the people but the impact is totally different when the people speak for themselves. We commend the Cabinet for approving the people’s requests. Right now we wait for results. We expect to see them fulfill their promises.”

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