Binga Chief Speaks On First Lady Fish Pond Donation, “We Want Meaningful Development.”
As a Chief, my community and I were not consulted on the project and there was no formal invitation which is a sign of some of form of disrespect.
If we were consulted we could have not have opted for the Fish Pond project because it has no political, social, educational and economic contribution to the school and community development.
The project is not viable and sustainable because there is insufficient sustainable water supply and the borehole is not dependable. We as Binga district need an adequate supply of water in the forms of dams for fishing projects and farming projects.
Pashu community in Binga district lies in Region 4 and 5 where it is nationally known that there is insufficient water for sustainability, therefore, there are perennial droughts.
If consulted we could have rejected the Fish pond project as it is meaningless in our valuation of community sustainability and could have opted for a dam for irrigation, livestock, fishing and any other activities.
The school is situated next to a proposed dam site (about a kilometre) which was shown to the 3 departments. In Binga District supply of adequate water is our first priority. We need a bigger and better supply of water for meaningful development, not Fish Ponds.
To us, such is our great expectations for development educationally. Strangely Bulawayo Kraal Secondary, a school that is situated at a stone throw from the Zambezi Lake, who in his right mind could buy, eat or sell fingerlings when there are plenty plus fish in the Zambezi lake.
Pashu community and other greater parts of Binga are still in the stone age period as these basic needs are still scarce to find. Since communication, ZESA and roads are also basic needs for development we as Binga District need these most.
There is no compensation by the National Parks to the community for crops destroyed by wildlife such as elephants. There is also very low recruitment of our local children despite holding the largest National Park in the country.
Our National Constitution stipulates that locals should benefit from their local resources. Beitbridge and Victoria Falls get billions of money yet very little of these resources are given to the local communities directly for development.
There is very little if any activities are undertaken to rehabilitate damaged lands in Pashu and in Binga. There are contradictions, for instance, allocations of mining certificates to coal mines situated upstream to the Gwaai/ Shangani Dam.
The Forestry Department is not contributing much to the community, therefore, we need big, better sustainable forestry development projects.
Having said the above, I further on stated that we considered Her Excellency and First Lady our point of call in distress, as she was our focal point and link to the Head of State and Government.
As the old adage says “ For any successful business or leadership, there is a strong wise woman behind”.
I went on to state that ZANU-PF and General elections are a disaster in Pashu and Binga because of such meaningless projects which fail to win people’s hearts and minds of our community.
I also went on to state that the fish pond project needed a lot of time and resources to make it a better project before the final officiation of it to the community.
Also mentioned that as Binga District we need bigger and better projects and such a high powered delegation (Min of Environments, Tourism & Hospitality, Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Provincial Min of State for Mat North and Her Excellency and First Lady)… At this point, Her Excellency and First Lady intervened and said I had said too much for Her, that she was not part of the Government, that she was a Mother of the Nation without any form of exclusion.
She said there are MPs and Ministers responsible, She is neutral and does not need politics in Her activities and that I did not respect Her. Thereafter she expressed that she was not comfortable to proceed with Her agenda.
When I tried to apologise she refused. Nevertheless, after concerted persuasion, she eventually accepted to officiate the occasion.
The Fish Pond as of now;
the structure is not complete
insufficient water from the borehole
fingerlings dying maybe due to hot water
not fenced, open to damages from cattle, goats and donkeys that need water to drink
made of black plastic lining that absorbs heat
is a danger to children as they could jump into or fall into the pond resulting in accidents and death.
My address was intended to highlight most pertinent challenges experienced by Pashu Community and Binga in general that need ZANU-PF Party and Government.
It was not my intention to sound like I was attacking Her Excellency and First Lady, disrespecting Her and the entire First Family. In my view, the intention was to express our concerns and to seek assistance for meaningful development.
George Nyathi, Chief Pashu,
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