Govt fails to meet Lupane relocation deadline

BY ZIMFACT

Most government departments serving the Matabeleland North province are currently housed in Bulawayo, instead of the province’s capital – Lupane.

This often means that residents of the province travel long, expensive distances to access government services.

The government is yet to complete construction of key infrastructure that would house various departments.

These structures include a government complex, a provincial hospital, staff housing and a water reservoir.

During a tour of these construction projects in February 2019, Richard Moyo, the minister responsible for the province, said progress was being made towards completion and relocation by August 2019.

“From what the people on the ground are saying, the projects are at different stages, but at most they said they would be complete in four months.

“So we can give ourselves maybe an extra two months so that they can finalise. We are looking forward to moving here in August, all things being equal,” Moyo told reporters on 12 February 2019.

In December 2019, the minister announced a new timetable after the government missed the August target.

“Our government offices have been completed here in Lupane.

“The feedback I am getting from the department of public works is that they are only doing final touches in connecting water and electricity.

“Otherwise my office is ready, departmental offices and civil servants houses are also ready.

“Our view is that by February we will relocate and start operating from the people instead of operating from another province in Bulawayo,” Moyo told the Chronicle in December 2019.”

During this last week of September 2021, ZimFact established that construction work was still ongoing at various stages of completion.

Moyo told ZimFact that the government was now targeting relocation of staff by March 2022.

He said the Covid-19 pandemic had slowed down construction work.

“The pandemic has affected a lot of things,” Moyo said.

“Construction companies have to halt some works and some materials could not be procured due to border closures.

“As a result, this has led to the delay in the completion of works at the government complex, at the staff houses and at my official office as well as residence

“Work is at different stages of completion but as we are already entering the last quarter of the year, I can confirm that our civil servants will relocate to Matabeleland North province by the end of the first quarter of 2022, they would be working from our provincial capital, Lupane.”

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