Only a handful of Chiredzi residents last Wednesday attended the commissioning of West Road by Masvingo Provincial Affairs minister Ezra Chadzamira.
Government officials, civil servants, Zanu PF officials, and businesspeople formed the bulk of the crowd that witnessed the official opening of the 2,4 kilometre road constructed at a cost of ZWL$510 000.
Residents went about their daily chores oblivious of the event that was held in their backyard. The colourful event held at the intersection of West Road and Prayer Road in Tshovani suburb.
Constance Chikumbo from United Residents and Ratepayers Association (UCHIRRA) said Chiredzi Town Council had failed to mobilise residents for the event.
“It seems the central and local governments are always standing aloof and keep them (residents) at arm‘s length when it comes to their programmes; that is why residents treat these events indifferently. This culture of giving residents a wide berth should be stopped forthwith and introduce a sense of ownership,” Chikumbo said.
“The same scenario was experienced during the national clean-up that was held early this month at Banana market. The vendors went about their business while the minister and several other officials swept the area around the stall.,”
However, Chiredzi Town Council chairperson, Gibson Hwende said the arrangements were made at the eleventh hour, so they had no time to invite the residents.
“Yes, I agree that residents did not attend the event. It was due to the fact that not enough information was shared because we got the confirmation of the coming of the guest of honour a bit late, making it difficult to adequately inform the residents. We got numerous calls from the residents asking why information was not relayed to them,” said Hwende.
Meanwhile, Chadzimira told the gathering that they have a task of unlocking an $8 billion provincial economy by 2030.
“Ladies and gentlemen this programme comes hardly on the heels of our serious stakeholders’ engagement at Chitsanga Hall where we shared our tasks and responsibilities in rolling out the programme on devolution. We have a huge task to deliver an $8 billion provincial economy by 2030,” Chadzamira said.
“I urge you as councils to be competitive institutions in attracting investors by improving ease of doing business and riding on current legislative changes that the ninth Parliament is putting in place.
Chadzamira added: “We should be alive on the Regional Town Planning and Country Planning Act and the creation of the Zimbabwe investment Development Agency which government is pursuing. These frameworks allow us to facilitate, access and processing of construction permits and handling investment interests under one roof.”