PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa this Saturday met the Matabeleland Collective for the third time in Bulawayo, with deliberations centred around issues of the historical Gukurahundi disturbances.
The same platform was also used to discuss the Bulawayo water challenges with the local authority representatives and the President.
President Mnangagwa’s engagements with the Matabeleland Collective have pointed to dialogue and the need to speak with one voice was identified as critical in addressing contentious issues affecting the region.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Nick Mangwana explained the gist of this Saturday’s deliberations and the way forward.
“His Excellency the President came and discussed the following issues, birth certificates, death certificates, exhumations,” said the Permanent Secretary.
“These are issues which are around the historical Gukurahundi conflict. Also on the table were issues of youth empowerment, women’s quota, corruption in District Councils and the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project.
“From these, the outcome which will be summarized was as follows, that there will be a rollout in September which is going to involve the chiefs, the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission and the Matabeleland Collective as well as the government. So this will be the rollout which one can call the implementation of the above discussions.
Before meeting Civic Society, the President also engaged with Bulawayo Municipality on the water challenges in the city.
“There was one main subject of discussion which was the water situation in the city. The outcome was that His Excellency directed the city fathers to come up with a three-phased programme which is costed.
“Government has already supported Byo City Council with money, the Minister of Finance was here in May with the Minister of Local Government and following that visit money was disbursed and His Excellency promised that once the phased programme is complete, further monies will be released to the city to ensure that citizens are supplied with water.
“It was very clear from the discussions that there is enough water around Bulawayo and it is a question of intellectual and expert investment to ensure that water is drawn from the aquifers to your tapes and the tapes of the citizens.
The latest meeting moves a gear up towards the implementation phase which has been the most awaited by many citizens and rural folk in the region. For many, who are victims of the Gukurahundi disturbances, this is also the dawn of a new era that has resulted in determining commitment to tackle the painful subject under the guidance of the able Second Republic.