Lovemore Kadzura Rusape Correspondent
Makoni Rural District Council has proposed a $3,8 million budget for 2018 with a large chunk being channelled towards road and bridge construction as well as rehabilitation. Makoni District is the biggest district in the country, covering 8 200 square kilometres. It has five constituencies and 39 wards of which Zanu-PF has 34 councillors, while MDC-T has a mere five. In an interview, MRDC Chief Executive Officer Dr Edward Pise said they had prioritised roads and bridges construction after many of them were damaged by incessant rains.
“We submitted a $3,8 million proposal budget for this year and it is awaiting approval by the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing. Fifty-five percent of our budget is earmarked for roads and bridges repair. Council intends to repair roads and bridges that we destroyed during the last rainy season.
“Council is constructing a bridge in Sharara which connects Wards 17 and 30. The bridge was swept away last year. Our road network is 2 237km, which is mainly dust. We need to make sure that the roads are in good state because we want our farmers to have easy access to markets. With the coming of the harmonised elections, we want all corners to be reached by election officers.
“Zimbabwe National Roads Authority (Zinara) will also release funds for road rehabilitation programmes. We are expecting to boost our revenue collection following the decision by Government that all land levy collection be done by rural councils. Here in Makoni we have a huge number of farms and it is huge relief for us,” said Dr Pise.
Dr Pise added that his council had received a £1 million grant from DFID to repair all the malfunctioning boreholes in the district.
“We received a £1 million grant from DFID to rehabilitate all broken boreholes. There are 479 malfunctioning boreholes and so far 189 have been attended to. This will help our residents to have access to clean and safe water and also reduce issues to do with water-borne diseases,” said Dr Pise.