Residents of Bulilima are at odds with the local rural district council and government over the location of a growth point for the district in the Plumtree area.
BY SILAS NKALA
Villagers want the growth point to be constructed at Nata near Thekwane area where there is already a clinic, water and electricity.
Roads from Plumtree, Solusi, Ntunungwe, Ndolwane and Tjolotjo which lead into the proposed growth point, however need repairing and tarring.
Government has reportedly settled for Masendu as the location for the growth point.
A representative of stakeholders, Tjiyapo Velempini said the site of the Bulilima centre has been contentious for a long time now.
“The conflict has stifled development. The district remains the only one without a district hospital and an administrative office. They still operate from Plumtree. This means that even government departments have not devolved in order to save the people in this area,” Velempini said.
“The proposal to develop a district capital centre is coming from concerned residents who are trying to bring development into the region.”
Bulilima Rural District Council CEO Brown Ncube said the official position was that Masendu becomes the district centre.
“Who are those people who are proposing that? As far as I know, there was a commission set up on that and the official position was that the centre cannot be at that place but in Masendu,” Ncube said.
He added: “Even the issue of a district hospital that you are talking about was referred to the Ministry of Health and it was also indicated that it could be set up in Masendu, not here.”
But Velempini argued that Masendu was not central and had no proper infrastructure to start with.
“It’s starting from scratch and the project might not see the light of day. I think that official decision was made without proper stakeholder consultation and it’s probably an agenda being pushed by an assertive chief Masendu to the detriment of all who essentially should fund the exercise. It could be another Lupane vs Hwange scenario on the lines of the Matabeleland North capital,” he said.