ZANU-PF Politburo member Professor Mthuli Ncube has set his Cowdray Park Development Agenda in motion with 24 boreholes already drilled, among a cocktail of other developments meant to transform the people’s lives.
Prof Ncube will be representing Zanu-PF in the forthcoming elections in Cowdray Park constituency. He went in unchallenged in the just ended party primary elections in the newly established constituency. The development that he is working to bring to the area is part of his desire to close the development gap in the constituency so that it plays catch-up with other suburbs in the country’s second largest city.
“For over three years I have been having conversations and frequenting Cowdray Park, mostly engaging party structures there. It was during that time that I got well acquainted with the challenges faced by the constituency, particularly the stunted development of major social amenities. Politically, I could have chosen a number of constituencies in the region, Lupane included, but I chose Cowdray Park because of the urgent need for development that is there. My vision is to see Cowdray Park catching up and possibly leap other urban constituencies across Zimbabwe. There is immense potential for that,” said Prof Ncube.
He said with over 9 000 houses in Cowdray Park having no water and sewer connection, a plan has been put in place to address the sewer problem.
We are in conversation with a number of civil engineers in order to get the most professional input in coming up with a permanent solution. Alive to the water challenges facing Bulawayo and aware of the Government’s major projects like Gwayi-Shangani and Nyamandlovu Aquifer, the need for clean water in Cowdray Park is immediate and after consultations with the residents, the most suitable short-term solution we agreed on was the issue of boreholes.
“These will address both the non-connected areas and the connected areas due to the massive water shedding schedule employed by the city council. So far, 24 boreholes have been drilled across strategic sites around Cowdray Park. These boreholes will come with community nutritional gardens in order to improve nutrition and income levels of identified underprivileged groups like widows, orphans, the disabled, women and youth households around these water sources,” said Prof Ncube.
Prof Ncube has also been cognisant of the fact that over half of Cowdray Park is still not connected to the electricity grid. As such, measures have so far been put in place to alleviate the plight of the unconnected community.
“We discovered that residents were paying towards procurement of gum poles and there were no transformers. We have then intervened by sourcing 32 transformers so far out of a required 36, the vision is to have all households connected in the next few months. What is left is the procurement of the poles and we are in touch with a number of companies including Allied Timbers in order to remove the burden from the residents. So, we are very serious about the issue of electricity,” he said.
Prof Ncube has also rolled out other human capital capacitation programmes that have seen youths in the area acquiring various skills training.
“Early this year we rolled out a nurse-aide training course in partnership with the Red Cross Society. A pioneer class of 600 youths went through the first phase and will soon be getting into the last phase while a second group of 600 youths has been enrolled for the second class. This was done at the request of youth groups in Cowdray Park last year and we are already seeing the positive impact that the programme is bringing within the constituency. A skill is a great tool of empowerment,” he said.
He added that there was also a request by youths for assistance towards acquiring driver’s licences.
“We have since rolled out a programme to fund lessons for 1 000 youths within the constituency towards acquiring driving skills and ultimately the licences,” said Prof Ncube. Sunday News