|Govt appoints new advisory council for NMZWP|
|Monday, 09 July 2012 13:20|
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Sunday News CorrespondentAS confusion continues to engulf the National Matabeleland Zambezi Project (NMZWP), Government has reportedly gone ahead with the appointment of an advisory council set to oversee its operations, bringing to three the total number of bodies that would claim responsibility of the project, Sunday News can reveal.
This comes amid reports that the project is set to resume after Cabinet pledged to fund the completion of the reservoir, which forms part of the project.
The multi-billion-dollar project, which is touted as the panacea to Bulawayo’s perennial water woes, has been on the cards for 100 years now due to lack of funding.
When completed, it is also expected to effectively solve the water problems in the Matabeleland region and create thousands of jobs and hundreds of entrepreneurial opportunities in farming and mining.
Confirming the new developments, Minister of Water Resources Management and Development Samuel Sipepa Nkomo said while he could not give the names of all the entire council they would be officially unveiling it on 12 July.
He said the sole mandate of the council was to help manage the project and attract more investment on behalf of Government.
“Various stakeholders submitted names for inclusion in this board, these members come from as far as Victoria Falls right up to Bulawayo, so rather than pre-empting anything I would rather advise that you attend the official unveiling set for 12 July in Bulawayo,” said Minister Nkomo.
He said the selection process had been open to everyone, with the ministry mandated to carefully scrutinise all entries that were forwarded by various stakeholders.
It is reported the new advisory council includes, Bulawayo deputy mayor, Councillor Amen Mpofu, Bulawayo City Council Director of Engineering Services, Engineer Simela Dube, Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union president, Mr Donald Khumalo, renowned historian Pathisa Nyathi and economist, Dr Eric Bloch.
The minister, however, refused to name the other members to be included in the council.
He was not clear on whether the other previous boards had been considered for selection in this new council.
However, commenting on the recent developments, Matabeleland Zambezi Water Trust (MZWT) chairperson, Dr Dumiso Dabengwa, said while their trust had been informed of the formation of the council they were still to meet as a board to reach a decision whether to be part of the council or not.
“The minister has indeed advised us of the process and invited us to nominate our candidate but we are yet to meet as a board where we will then decide whether or not we will be part of this council or not,” said Dr Dabengwa.