The Sunday News
Gabriel Masvora, Judith Phiri, Sunday News Reporters
THE country has scored major successes in the implementation of projects for this year under the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1), chief among them being the availing of $17,8 billion for water and sanitation, with a big slice of it going towards the construction of the long awaited Lake Gwayi-Shangani in Matabeleland North Province.
A total of $4,7 billion has gone towards the ongoing construction works at the Lake Gwayi-Shangani, a major water source set to alleviate water challenges in Bulawayo and its surroundings.
The project will also see a green belt being established along the 245km pipeline from the Lake to Bulawayo.
Its social and economic benefits will be directly felt in three provinces, Matabeleland North, Bulawayo and Matabeleland South.
It is expected that once completed, water sources in Matabeleland South, which supply Bulawayo, will have a lesser burden and open up irrigation prospects for surrounding areas in the province.
This is contained in a report by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development that was produced during a Capacity Building Workshop for the Budget and Finance and Economic Development Committee and Public Accounts Committee on the monitoring and tracking of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) allocations from the International Monetary Fund, implementation of NDS1 projects and legislative review of Public Procurement Framework in Bulawayo on Friday.
The meeting, attended by the Parliamentary Budget and Finance and Economic Development Committee, among other stakeholders ends today.
President Mnangagwa launched NDS1 in November 2020 running under the Vision 2030 theme: “Towards a Prosperous and Empowered Upper Middle-Income Society by 2030.”
The major thrust of NDS1 is to “leave no one and no place behind” and it lays out policies, institutional reforms and 14 national priorities for the five years (2021-2025).
According to the report, the money that has been availed for the water and sanitation sector has gone towards dam construction, procurements of drilling rigs and borehole drilling. On the $4,7 billion spent on the construction works at Lake Gwayi-Shangani, expenditure has been directed towards placing of the concrete in the wall and installation of outlet pipes.
“Part of the resources went towards supporting the contract to clear Zimra tax arrears. Overall progress is at 66,5 percent with the project earmarked for substantial completion by December 2022,” reads the report.
The ministry said on the energy projects, focus has remained on the implementation of Hwange 7 and 8 Expansion Project through the US$998 million loan facility and the expectation is to add 600MW to the electricity grid upon completion this year.
“Cumulative disbursements to May amounted to US$443 million with works now estimated at 88,3 percent and key activities including installation of boilers, turbines, transformers, and construction of a 400Kv transmission line having been undertaken.
Resources availed through the budget for the period under review were targeting VAT payments for the project.”
On projects in the transport sector, the report noted that $25,1 billion was disbursed towards the Roads Development Programme targeting rehabilitation and upgrading of the country’s road network.
“Of this amount, $17,8 billion went towards the Harare-Masvingo-Beitbridge Road resulting in a cumulative completion of 320,5km out of the target of 520km, which is now open to traffic.
In an endeavour to address the excessive damage to the road infrastructure network countrywide caused by incessant rains, resources amounting to $5,2 billion (Department of Roads) and District Development Fund ($,.4 billion) were disbursed towards the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme II.”
Other projects that have also been completed on the transport sector include the restoration works on roads that were damaged by Cyclone Idai and completion of the Masvingo Urban dualisation (four lanes).
On the health sector, the report says Government has availed $2,6 billion which has been spent on upgrading of infrastructure at provincial and district health centres including construction of Manyame Hospital.
“Support was also channelled towards procurement of medical equipment in order to improve service delivery at health institutions.”
The education sector has also received more than $2,9 billion which was channelled towards schools infrastructure both for primary and secondary as well as tertiary institutions.
“Part of these resources were directed towards construction of female halls of residence at Bindura University of Science Education.
Overall project progress is now at 98 percent and outstanding works include acquisition of a transformer and electrical works.
The project is expected to be commissioned before year end.”
The report noted that money was also channelled to the Great Zimbabwe University in Masvingo for the construction of a Medical School with overall progress now at 94 percent.
The school is expected to enrol its first students in September this year.
Money was also availed towards the construction of a pathology laboratory at Midlands State University in Gweru with works now at 99 percent.
On primary and secondary schools, the Government noted that construction of 35 schools will commence in the second half of the year as sites have already been identified.
The report noted that $1.9 billion has been extended on a number of irrigation development projects.
They include development of 20 irrigation projects through the Turnkey Phase 1 Programme wherein to date 13 projects covering 925 hectares of the targeted 1 592ha have been completed and awaiting commissioning with construction works still ongoing on seven projects covering 667ha.
Other projects also include development of 5 415ha of land on 32 irrigation projects through Turnkey Phase 2 where to date 10ha have been completed on one project with works ongoing on three projects.
The Ministry said funding has also gone towards the Pedstock Centre Pivot Facility where a total of 57 centre pivots have been installed with 44 of them now irrigating a combined area of 1 920ha out of the target of 2 900ha.
Furthermore, there are other 30 ongoing irrigation projects covering 1 450ha which are also being implemented through the National Accelerated Irrigation Development Programme, with works now more than 50 percent complete on 16 projects covering 820 ha projects.
The report also showed that $9,9 billion has been disbursed towards the housing sector targeting construction and rehabilitation of infrastructure.
Notable progress was realised on the construction of residential flats in Dzivarasekwa (Harare), Marondera and Senga (Gweru).
The ministry said under the Zimbabwe Digital Migration Project, $506 million was provided targeting procurement of equipment to ensure that citizens who have analogue television sets are able to receive the digital signals from transmitters that have so far been digitalised.
“$184 million was availed under the Laboratory per school programme enabling establishment of 90 laboratories in 90 schools.
Resources were also availed in order to enhance availability of Public Financial Management System (PFMS) to users enabling full operationalisation of 63 PFMS Kiosks across the country as well and extension of PFMS to 3 Public Service Commission training centres.”
In an interview, Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Budget and Finance and Economic Development Committee chairman, Dr Matthew Nyashanu who is also the Member of Parliament for Buhera Central said they were happy with the projects and programmes for 2022 under the NDS1.
“We are generally happy with projects and programmes that Government has set to achieve.
We are in the process of interrogating some of the implementing strategies and members are questioning in terms of progress,” he said.
Dr Nyashanu said the workshop was important in the calendar of Parliament because it gave Members of Parliament the opportunity to interrogate the NDS1 and find out from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development the progress of the economic blueprint, NDS1.
“It has also given us an opportunity to interrogate the money received from International Monetary Fund (IMF) in August last year in terms of interrogating the utilisation plan and how much has been utilised up to date.
So, it has been an important workshop and I foresee us having more information coming from the ministry to the time that we finish this workshop,” he said.