Former Farmers Receive US$1 Million From Zimbabwe Govt
White farmers who were ejected from farms during the fast track land reform last week received the first paycheque of US$1 million in the form of a dividend for the 12.5 percent equity the Government gave them in Kuvimba Mining House.
Kuvimba, initiated by the Government and led by private investors, declared a cumulative dividend of US$5.2 million to shareholders, 12 months being transformed from the aggregation of struggling mining operations.
Through their lobby group, the Commercial Farmers Union (CFU), the former farmers said the decision by the Government to allocate the white farmers shares in Kuvimba Mining House, demonstrated the State’s commitment to resolving a decades-long conflict over land.
CFU president, Andrew Pascoe, noted that while the US$1 million dividend payment was only a tiny fraction of the finances required to pay off the full compensation amount, it represented a “seed that will germinate” into bigger things.
Pascoe indicated intended beneficiaries were initially sceptical about the Government’s decision to give shares to the white former commercial farmers who lost their land under the land reform initiative.
He observed, however, that the distribution of the dividend last week went a long way to prove the government’s commitment to resolving the issue.
He added that the compensation deed signed last year between the government and the farmers was driven by a desire to put aside “our differences and work together and find the best way forward to bring an end to a conflict that has raged for over the last 20 years”. He added:
_It is undeniable that the conflict has caused immense hardships for all of us Zimbabweans. The signing of that (compensation) deed was, from my perspective, a momentous occasion._
_Going forward from this, the commitment being shown by the Government to find the funds needed to pay the compensation is demonstrated clearly through the shares allocated to us._
The land issue is a sensitive one with some quarters saying there should be no compensation at all, even for improvements made on farms, since the land had been illegally acquired by the white farmers’ predecessors.
Government Has Also Taken 700km road network from councils
The GOVERNMENT has taken over 700km of roads from local authorities countrywide which will immediately undergo major works after years of damage and neglect.
Under the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme (ERRP), the Government will now work on 192 high-impact roads from urban council across the country.
Authorities have declared the country’s roads a “state of disaster”.
The road network which runs up to 708,6 km cover the length and breadth of the country’s 32 urban local authorities.
Harare Metropolitan Province has ceded 33 roads covering 249km to the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development, while 16 roads in Bulawayo (61,8km) have been taken over.
Nearly $16 billion has been set aside for the rehabilitation programme, with Mashonaland West province accounting for the bulk of the outlay at about $2,3 billion.
Roads in Harare will be refurbished at a cost of $1,3 billion, while those in Bulawayo will chew up $625 million.
Transport secretary Engineer Theodius Chinyanga, said the rehabilitation works will cover pothole patching and resurfacing of roads that have been excessively damaged.
He said most of the work will now commence. Requisite procurement of maintenance material has been completed.
“It is important that we indicate that most of the roads will receive pothole patching and in some instances where the road is too damaged for pothole patching it will be resurfaced,” said Eng Chinyanga.
“At the moment the resources that we have do not permit us to reconstruct all roads that is why we are patching potholes.
“Several roads and bridges around the country have outlived their design life and are showing signs of distress evidenced by heavy potholing, cracking and rutting among other visible failure modes. Most of these roads are now in need of rehabilitation or reconstruction.
“More progress in improving the road and bridge conditions around the country is expected in the immediate term as a number of procurements are being concluded and works starting under various road authorities.
“Government is also exploring ways of augmenting its purse in order to achieve more than originally targeted and prevent further deterioration of roads and bridges.”
A preparatory schedule for the rehabilitation programme obtained from the Ministry of Transport shows that the Government will repair 249,8 km in Harare Metropolitan Province.
Some of the major roads that are set to receive attention in the capital include Chiremba road (8km), Willowvale road (7,5km) Lytton road/Kambuzuma rd/Mupani Avenue/Muonde road(15km), Masotsha Ndlovu Avenue, Acturus road (9km),7th Street/Chancellor/Borrowdale road (14km) and Milton Avenue/ King George road(7,5km).
In Bulawayo Metropolitan Province 16 roads straddling over 61,8km will be patched and resurfaced.
Some of the roads include Intemba road (10,0km), Njube Main road (1,5km), Matopos road (3km), 12th Avenue Extension (7km) and Luveve road (4,7km).
In Manicaland province, nine roads running over 24,3km will be refurbished.
In Mashonaand East 74,4 km will receive maintenance, with 19 roads belonging to Marondera, Ruwa, Chitungwiza Town Councils and the Epworth Local Board slated for attention.
Mashonaland Central and Mashonaland West will have 11,7 km and 83 km of roads repaired respectively.
Gweru, Kwekwe, Zvishavane, Gokwe and Redcliff have a combined 124km of roads that require pothole patching and resurfacing in the Midlands province.
Matabeleland South will have 28km repaired while Matabeleland will have 6km, with Masvingo set to have 43km of maintenance.
In total, over 26 000km of road network will be rehabilitated, repaired and pothole patched this year under the ERRP.
According to the schedule 840km of roads countrywide will be rehabilitated and reconstructed, while 8 340km will be re-gravelled. An additional 17 093 km road network set to be regraded.
During the same period, Government plans to reseal 1 290km of roads, reconstruct 427 drainage structures and work on 24 830km of erosion works and drains across the country.
The ERRP began in April this year and is set to run for over 36 months.
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