MPs rapped for abandoning dam project

Councillor for Ward 31 in Bikita, Moses Maphosa, has castigated the incumbent and former MPs in the area for abandoning the completion of the construction of Gaha Dam in his ward.

When he came into office in 2000, former MP Walter Mutsauri initiated the construction of Gaha Dam as part of his development activities. He approached Headman Zihumo for relocation of six families whose homesteads were near the dam site and work started in earnest. Villagers helped in the transportation of quarry stone required for building the dam.

Unfortunately Mutsauri did not get a second term and in 2005. George Matimba was voted MP, largely because he had promised to complete the dam to help end people’s water woes. This did not materialize and Matimba was also booted out in favour of MDC-T’s Edmore Marima – whose promise to complete the project is still pipedream since he has only managed to buy a few bags of cement for the dam with money allocated to him under the Constituency Development Fund.

“I wonder if our MPs really do have the people’s welfare at heart. Many of us travel for more than 10km to get water at a nearby borehole and surely this kind of suffering would not have been there had we completed Gaha Dam,” said Maphosa.

“Our cattle are dying from lack of water. The dam could also have conserved water for drip irrigation projects. We might not be struggling to overcome poverty and disease in our community as we would have a reliable source of water. A dam could also promote ecotourism and create job opportunities for fishermen and farmers,” he added.

Mutsauri bemoaned his incapacity to complete the project and laid the blame on Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono’s policies at that time – which led to galloping inflation. He said that at one time he sourced money from donors to the tune of Z$300 million which he deposited in the bank in 2007. By the time he withdrew the money it was enough to buy only one bag of cement after its value was eroded by inflation.

Matimba’s mobile phone went unanswered, while incumbent Bikita East MP Eddmore Marima said in the three years since he was elected he had done wonders in trying to finish up uncompleted projects left by the two former Zanu (PF) MPs, Mutsauri and Matimba.

“Mutsauri only managed to build a block at Bikita Secondary School and left without putting a roof to it. I finished building the block and constructed two more blocks which I painted using money from the CDFs. Besides I also electrified Chikuku Rural Hospital which caters for patients from a large cross section of Bikita East Constituency. The two MPs had only managed to pile poles and copper cables at Chikuku Growth Point without taking any action to bring electricity into people’s homes, schools and hospitals. If the government allows us to serve our full five-year terms, by that time I would have done wonders including completing the Gaha Dam for the benefit of my constituents,” vowed Marima.

Post published in: News

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