BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
WOMEN Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development minister Sithembiso Nyoni has come under fire after an official in her ministry said Matabeleland North people were “unemployable”.
Her ministry’s chief director, Evan Dumba reportedly told parliamentarians during a pre-budget seminar in Victoria Falls on Friday that government was failing to get qualified people to be employed as ward development co-ordinators in Matabeleland North.
Nyoni, who did not attend the seminar, when contacted for comment yesterday said she would issue a statement on the matter.“I am still trying to investigate this whole issue; I will issue a statement after my investigations,” Nyoni said.
Dumba told parliamentarians: “We are finding it difficult to employ ward development co-ordinators in Matabeleland North after we advertised in July. It is a fact that we have staff at provincial and district levels, but we do not have ward development co-ordinators because we cannot get them. We are not getting people for the position.”
However, the statement has attracted criticism from the Zanu PF youth in Matabeleland North and pressure groups from the region.“It is extremely sad that the ministry decided to mislead the MPs and the entire country. The truth is they advertised for such roles in April this year and people applied in numbers. No one was shortlisted after applications were submitted.
“It is so unfortunate that the ministry is dishonest. We are challenging them to be honest so that a solution is reached,” Zanu PF Matabeleland North provincial youth chairperson Tamuka Nyoni said in a statement.
“What is disturbing us as a province is the fact that we have many graduates who are just sitting at home with qualifications who can immediately be utilised as ward co-ordinators. We are, however, immediately challenging the ministry to make sure that all these graduates are considered for these roles.”
The militant Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) also weighed in accusing the ministry of being out of touch with reality, particularly on unemployment levels among the youth in Matabeleland.
“To us this is a complete sign of dishonesty and madness at its highest order. She (Nyoni) is failing to force her bosses in Harare to develop Bulawayo-Nkayi Road.
Nkayi Road has become a death trap for many people, yet Sithembiso will not dare try to raise a motion or just ask why it is taking centuries just to complete that road,” MRP president Mqondisi Moyo said.
This came hardly a month after the Health ministry courted criticism for allegedly sidelining youth from the region in nurse training recruitment at Mpilo Central and United Bulawayo Hospitals.