|Ministers disown Government project|
|Saturday, 04 August 2012 20:04|
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MOVEMENT for Democratic Change (MDC-T) ministers have dissociated themselves with the Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle housing project that saw thousands of desperate house seekers benefiting, saying it is a relic of Zanu-PF’s poor planning which they have absolutely nothing to do with.
The sentiments have however irked beneficiaries of the national programme who feel such reckless utterances by the ministers are diabolic and meant to fix them and are a sure sign that the inclusive Government is premised on fluid foundations.
In an interview, Deputy Minister of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development Sesel Zvidzai said the MDC-T never subscribed to the clean-up exercise commonly known as Murambatsvina, adding that Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle was a Zanu-PF project. He said there was no meaningful progress to the project since the inception of the inclusive Government because of the project’s background.
“You should first understand the background of the project, that it was a hurried and desperate attempt by the previous Government to console the poor citizens that had been affected by Murambatsvina. It is a relic of Zanu-PF’s poor planning. The project is a product of something that started without proper planning. It was a reaction to Murambatsvina that we in the MDC clearly and boldly declared not to be part of. It is true that the houses are at varying levels of development and that the project is facing various challenges without any meaningful development on the ground.
“Ask Chombo (Minister of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development) he may be better placed to help you and explain why there is no progress,” said Deputy Minister Zvidzai.
He said there was little that Government was doing to correct the situation.
His sentiments were met with criticism from beneficiaries who described him as anti-development.
Minister of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development, Dr Ignatius Chombo, said the MDC-T ministers were playing cheap politics at the expense of real development. He said if they don’t want to administer the project they should simply come out in the open.
Dr Chombo said they MDC-T ministers needed to be reminded that they were in Government and should not be selective of Government projects. He added that the project was handed over to the Ministry of Public Works which is responsible for construction of all Government projects.
Public Works Minister Gabuza Joel Gabuza said they handed over the building material to the Ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities, adding that he suspected that the houses were handed over to the beneficiaries.
“I suspect that the houses were given to the beneficiaries. We handed over the building material for incomplete houses to the Ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities. They must be able to account for the material we gave them. It is true that most of the houses in the country constructed under that project are not complete and I think the Ministry of National Housing is better placed to comment on that,” he said.
National Housing and Social Amenities Minister, Mr Giles Mutsekwa, said his ministry handed over the houses to the Ministry of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development and had long forgotten about the project.
"We made an official handover in Bulawayo where we signed and surrendered the certificates to Minister Chombo. He handed over the houses to the local authorities. I do not understand where then I get in. It is true however that there is little if any development wherever those houses are and I do not think it is my problem although I believe the challenges are not insurmountable," said Minister Mutsekwa.
He said it was therefore political hogwash for anyone to suggest that the MDC-T was sabotaging the Government project, judging by the amount of confusion shrouding the whole project.